Analysis Of The Book ' The Land ' By William Cronon Essay example

1463 Words Nov 24th, 2016 6 Pages
The book Changes in the Land by William Cronon explores how the different ways of living – Indigenous and European – caused different altering effects on the New England environments. This review will note the main thesis of the book and how the author utilized evidence as support. Following this summary, the review will delve into the strengths and weaknesses of the book and their ultimate effect on the reader. The book’s main thesis is that: “New England ecology was transformed as the region became integrated into the emerging capitalist economy of the North Atlantic.” Thus explaining that European capitalism was integral for shifts from Native culture to actions which complemented European lifestyle. It was these shifts that irreparably altered the New England environment. The evidences for his thesis, to be discussed, are: European perception of property and the trade economy.
In the chapter “Bounding of the Land,” Cronon introduces the issue of property rights. He sets a basis by showing: how Indigenous people shared the land and that their property rights were limited to the tools one created and an animal one killed. The Europeans were depicted as perceiving property as land that was fenced off and improved upon by cattle or the like. Then later in chapter “A World of Fields and Fences,” Cronon demonstrates how the Indigenous people were forced to adapt their world views and develop a more European view on property. This can be seen when Indigenous people wanted to…

Related Documents