John Muir And Environmentalism Analysis

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This investigation aims to answer the research question: How did John Muir’s opposition to the Hetch Hetchy Valley Dam influence the American Environmental movement? To allow for an analysis of both the short and long-term effects of Muir’s protest the scope of this research is 1908- 1956. A thematic account of these effects is achieved by utilizing primary, secondary, and reflective sources, such as autobiographies. The first source which will be evaluated is an article written by John Muir titled “The Hetch Hetchy Valley” found in the Sierra Club Bulletin from 1908. The second is Robert W. Righter’s book The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism published in 2005. Both of these sources are relevant to the investigation as the first source reveals Muir’s attempt to influence a contemporary audience through his description of the Valley, while the second addresses the long -term effects which Muir’s campaign have had on Environmentalism.
Muir’s article “The Hetch Hetchy Valley,” was written in 1908, early in the Hetch Hetchy controversy. This is a limitation because the source is unable to address the effects of Muir’s protest; the aim of this investigation. However, this primary source is still valuable since it demonstrates some of the techniques Muir used. As the President of the Sierra Club, Muir’s political agenda is evident. This source was written for citizens of San Francisco in an attempt to gain public

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