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Cronon - Survey of American History Honors Changes In The...

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Survey of American History- Honors. Changes In The Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England William Cronon’s intent was to explain why the New England habitats changed as they did during the colonial period and to explain its process of change. The thesis of his book “Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England “is to describe the changes in the region’s plant and animal communities as a correlation to the shift from Indian to European dominance. Cronon supports this by showing the reader contrasts of both the ecosystems and the economies in pre-colonial New England to those at the beginning of the 19 th century. Based on their initial waste of the natural resources to the ruin of many of the areas in New England, the European ways of life and economy changed the new land. William Cronon explains how the landscape and the environment were radically changed by the arrival of the Europeans. He also states that the shift from Indian to English domination in N.E. allowed for English property systems to take control as well as the domination of the domestic animals. He also argues that the Industrial Revolution was going to change N. E. ecology by creating industries and ways to connect cities. His statements proved that the change in New England’s environment and landscape was brought on by the arrival of the Europeans and by the involvement of the Indian people. He introduces the field of environmental history and conveys this evidence through this book. Cronon’s thesis shows that the shift from Indian domination to English domination required big changes. The landscape transformed radically. Examples include
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the species of animals that were no longer seen wandering the land, and the domination of domesticated land animals. The English property system required that the Indians adjust their farming ideals and build fences to contain their animals. The industrial revolution also transformed the New England ecology to an unnatural environment. The book portrays early travel accounts; town, court, and legislative records; ecological data; and information about the landscape. He also discusses some theoretical problems with environmental history (ecological history). Cronon clearly states that he was interested in the way that Native Americans and Europeans made changes to the landscape of New England. He also tries to observe how the changes Europeans made forced Native Americans to get rid of their ways of interacting with the land.
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