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Northwest Passage

The Northwest Passage is the name given to the sea route from Europe to Asia, sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean, through the waters to the north of North America, and then into the Pacific Ocean. It was allegedly known to medieval seafarers and perhaps to earlier sailors but eluded explorers and adventurers in the centuries after the European discovery of America. A northern sea route would bring substantial economic benefits to trading nations, and this has sustained the effort to discover and implement a commercially viable shipping route through a Northwest Passage. Global warming has reduced the impediments from ice and made salient questions of territorial rights and international access.

History

By the time of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America in 1492 and the early European ...

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