The Pitcairn and Henderson Islands

By Tim Russo and Abby Smith

Thesis Statement

Although the Pitcairn and Henderson islands were successful peninsulas, they suffered from deforestation, erosion, and trading issues among themselves.


One of reasons why both of these islands collapsed was because of deforestation. Deforestation is the clearance or removal of a forest or stand of trees where the area of land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use, (non-resourceful). Deforestation wipes out habitats for wildlife, damages ecosystems, and potentially leads to the extinctions of many animals that could be beneficial to these islands. Deforestation also includes global warming, which isn't much of a problem to these islands in particular because of the fact that these islands are tropical to being with. Deforestation also puts a toll on the economy because of the fact that with deforestation, the new procedures to get amounts of wood increase and more and more trees die out or get cut down for human use. Clearly, deforestation impacted these islands drastically and this was definitely a contributing factor to the collapse of these two islands.


Another way that these peninsulas collapsed was the erosion that occurred. Erosion is the process by which soil and rock are removed from the Earth's surface by exogenic processes, such as wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other locations of that area. Soil erosion is one form of erosion that isn't beneficial for humans and or plants; in this case, forests. Erosion is definitely a contributing factor for the collapse for these two islands because of the fact that dust bowls can be an example of a catastrophe and a reason why these islands collapsed. Remember, without trees or plants growing healthy on the islands, vegetation livestock will eventually die from starvation, leaving the people of the Pitcairn and Henderson without fresh crops and or livestock. In conclusion, there was a lot of erosion that occurred and definitely impacted the way these two islands collapsed.

Trading Issues

One of the last reasons that caused these homelands to collapse was the trading issues among the people who colonized on the Pitcairn and Henderson Islands. One of the issues was that the Henderson Island was uninhabited; which means that there were not living things on this island. Other than the small animal species that were contained on the island, no humans were living on this island at this time. The Pitcairn Island was the only island that consisted of humans at the time. A trading issue was definitely bound to start because of the fact that the Pitcairn wasn't able to trade with anybody on the "twin" island. Basically, the Henderson Island didn't do much trading because of lack of humans or living things on this particular island. The Pitcairners, however, were continually being contacted by ships. They mostly traded with Britain and other Europeans because the Pitcairn Island was owned by these different countries. After a while, the people of Pitcairn abandoned this island and immigrated to Tahiti. This definitely put a toll of economy and was one of the reasons why there were such trading issues because the Pitcairn Island was abandoned for another island. Overall, there were many trading issues between these two islands together and individually.


Works Cited

"Bounty Mutiny." World History: The Modern Era. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.

Diamond, Jared M. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking, 2005. Print. Page 120-124

"Henderson Island - Prehistoric Economy of Feathers." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2004.

"Henderson Island." Henderson Island., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.

"Neighbours Kept Pitcairn People Alive." UQ News. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.