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Environmental History (Class 3)

Environmental History (Class 3) - Environmental History...

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Environmental History History, Nature & Politics: A Green Garden or a Brown Mire?
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Environmental History: What is it? Study of human exploitation of the natural world, including agriculture, resource extraction and pollution, the history of forests, the effects of hunting, grazing and fire. About unmasking myths and distorted perceptions of the past relationship between nature and culture. Also actually about environmental history, i.e., history of our landscape!
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Seeds of Environmental Concern: Not Just a Modern Phenomenon Environmental concerns > 300 yrs old • Early 1600‟s: forest reserves set aside for ship masts in Europe 1700s: controls on deer and waterfowl hunting in West & East First environmental crime (1825): forest poaching
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The USA in the 18 th & 19 th Centuries Biblical Depiction : unforgiving wasteland European Folk Tradition : dangerous forests, wild animals, heathen tribes Early Colonization : nature viewed as dangerous and uncivilized Manifest Destiny : destiny to move westward, to colonize and tame Early Shift : emphasis on pastoral environments over cleared lands & urban landscapes Learning from European Lessons : recognizing the value of wilderness before it was too late.
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Shifting & Conflicting Ideas about the Environment in the USA Aldo Leopold: “A stump was our symbol of progress” Transcendentalism: finding God in nature Poetry: William Cullen Bryant Literature: James Fenimore Cooper Art: Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt
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The Death of the Flowers William Cullen Bryant THE MELANCHOLY days have come, the saddest of the year, Of wailing winds, an naked woods, and meadows brown and sere; Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead; They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread; The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay, And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day. Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood? Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds with the fair and good of ours. The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again. The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago, And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow; But on the hill the goldenrod, and the aster in the wood, And the yellow sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty stood, Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men, And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen. And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will come, To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home; When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the trees are still, And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.
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