Changes in the Land Essay

1078 Words Mar 24th, 2015 5 Pages
Grace Giardina
Mr. Mark Carson
HIST 2055
11 Feb 2015

Changes in the Land Essay
In William Cronon’s book Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England, he discuses the ecological history of New England from the late sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century. He demonstrates how the New Englanders changed the land by illustrating the process of the change in the landscape and the environment. In the Preface Cronon states, “My thesis is simple: the shift from Indian to European dominance in New England entailed important changes—well known to historians—in the ways these people organized their lives, but it also involved fundamental reorganizations—less well-known to historians—in the region's plant
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The English were under the notion that by taking advantage of every aspect of the land, that made them its devout owners. In their eyes, by working hard and building settlements, their time was being used to better the area and build grounds for further advancement. Their views revolved around value the land held and the profit that came with it through market opportunities. On the other hand, the Native Americans were seen as somewhat lazy or lacking the drive to really settle down because of their moving patterns. This idea of not wasting time or resources was a huge factor throughout the development of America’s history and is a large theme in the Declaration of Independence, which just goes to show how much influence the Native American’s have had on our politics. The social gaps and aversion over Indian ideas can even be paralleled all the way to current day.
Not only did the English bring economic changes over but also biologic changes as well. It’s a well known fact that disease and sickness struck the Native Americans in such a way that their culture changed forever, and Cronon argues that not only did illness affect their population sizes but that it had a snowball effect and hugely diminished their socioeconomics as well. Reduction in population made the work load increase exponentially harder on the small amount of healthy

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