Cronon Paper-Beaver

Cronon Paper-Beaver - 1 The Beavers Influence on New...

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1 The Beaver’s Influence on New England’s Ecology Sam Regalado History 1301W Carolyn Lee October 1, 2008
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2 The ecology of colonial New England changed drastically in the first two-hundred years of European settlement. By 1700, European settlements lined the eastern seaboard of the present day United States. With this came many changes to the land and waterways around these areas. In his book, Changes in the Land, William Cronon describes the many ecological changes that occurred in colonial New England. New England encompasses the area from Maine in the north to Connecticut in the south. Along with deforestation, property division, and the rise of permanent settlements, the animal population of New England changed dramatically. This is best seen in the beaver population of New England. Due to the fur trade, the beaver was aggressively hunted. Along with the beaver, deer, wolves, and other wild animals became very scarce in New England. The beaver population in New England was greatly depleted due to the fur trade and increasing Native American beliefs that the beaver carried deadly European diseases. By tracing the population changes in the beaver, one can also conclude that the vast ecological changes in New England were spurred by economic forces in Europe. As the beaver was hunted for the fur trade, and to wipe out disease, its decreased population had a profound impact on the ecological and demographic makeup of New England. The beaver played a central role in the fur trade, and economic forces in Europe centered on the North American fur trade. The most sought after fur was that of the beaver. The only place in New England where beavers were not hunted to dangerously low levels was in Maine. As the demand for beaver fur increased in Europe, Native Americans and European traders
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2011 for the course HIST 3959 taught by Professor Menard during the Spring '10 term at Minnesota.

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Cronon Paper-Beaver - 1 The Beavers Influence on New...

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