Environmental History Exam 1 Study Guide

Environmental History Exam 1 Study Guide - E nvironmental...

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Environmental History Exam 1 Study Guide Short Essays: 1. Epidemics in Colonial New England a. Smallpox, measles, cholera, chicken pox b. Eurasia evolved the nastiest germs b.i. Due to the large, dense, human populations b.ii. Close sustained contact with domesticated animals c. Because the diseases were endemic in Europe, Europeans had had time to develop both genetic and immune resistance to them but Indians initially had no such resistance c.i. The diseases came to virgin soil in the New World, therefore the Indians had no adaptations to the diseases whatsoever d. Killed an estimated 95% of the New World’s Indian population e. Because diseases typically wiped out 90% of village’s populations the survivors were left without much to keep the tribes culture and traditions going. e.i. “the epidemics disrupted most of the networks of kinship and authority that had previously organized Indian lives” e.ii. Leadership positions were up for grabs when an important person died, but there was no one to lead. “ The mere fact of depopulation promoted conditions of turmoil which enabled new leaders to emerge in the ensuing political vacuum” f. The death of all of these Indians caused them to vacate their lands; therefore giving the English cleared space that was ready to be colonized. g. When the Puritan migrations began, the animals that had relied on the Indians to maintain their edge habitats (by burning) were still abundant beyond English belief, but in many areas the edges were beginning to return to forest. Declining animal populations would not be noticed for many years but habitat conditions were already shifting to produce that effect. 2. Cows and Pigs in Colonial New England a. Need to eat grasses in pastures b. Need space c. Brought by settlers who privilege them over agriculture c.i. Let them run wild c.ii. Pests to Indians d. Need to acquire more land for grasses e. Causes the inaction of laws which goes along with fencing such as the swine laws e.i. English believed they had a right to own their animals e.ii. Complaints of Indians stealing livestock e.iii. To keep animals from eating crops there needed to be fences which to colonists represented perhaps the most visible symbol of an “improved” landscape
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e.iv. Fences and livestock were pivotal elements in the English rationale for taking Indian lands e.iv.1. Long term Indians were forced to adopt fencing as a farming strategy new way of life f. One great difference between Indian agriculture and European agriculture was animal husbandry f.i. Domesticated grazing mammals made possible the use of the plow, and were arguably the single most distinguishing characteristic of European agricultural practices g. English sought control over their animals responsible for changes in the NE landscape g.i. Endless miles of fences, vanished wolves, system of country roads, new fields filled with clover, grass, and buttercups h. Pigs could reproduce the fastest and were therefore the most common, and
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This note was uploaded on 12/28/2010 for the course HIST 124 taught by Professor Pamelamack during the Fall '08 term at Clemson.

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Environmental History Exam 1 Study Guide - E nvironmental...

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