The Importance Of Environmental History

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Environmental History is the study of human interaction with the natural world over time. Environmental history is a rather new discipline that came into being during the 1960’s and 1970’s. It came about as a direct consequence of the growing awareness of worldwide environmental problems. Some of important practitioners of environmental history are Donald Worster, Christian Pfister, and Peter Brimblecombe. Environmental history works by emphasizing the active role nature plays in influencing human affairs. In 1994, the tiny east African country of Rwanda, played host to one of the most vicious genocides of the twentieth century. This tiny country, with a population of approximately 7,500,000 people in 1994, lost nearly 1,000,000 Tutsi and …show more content…
As the population grew, the amount of land available for subsistence farming decreased dramatically, leaving many people landless and unemployed. As a result of this loss of land, Hutu leaders were more easily able to persuade the Hutu people to kill the Tutsi, and reclaim their lands. The loss of land was detrimental to the people living there. Losing land meant that not only did you lose your place to live, but you also lost your chief way of providing sustenance to your family. The Hutu leaders easily able to persuade their constituents that the Tutsi were to blame for the Hutu losing their land. Another way of Hutu government persuaded the Hutu that the Tutsi should be eliminated, was by pointing to vast tracts of land which had been freed up for Hutu settlement and cultivation; which was taken from the Tutsi in the 1960’s and …show more content…
To keep up with the growing demand, farmers would increase food production by double and triple-cropping on what dwindling plots were left. Because of this over farming the soil became exhausted and infertile. By the end of the 1980’s, Rwanda’s agricultural resources had been completely exhausted because of the over farming. By 1993, one year before the genocide, there had still not been any substantial improvements in agricultural practices. Because of the lack of improvements, food production was still seriously hampered by overgrazing, soil erosion, and periodic drought. These unsustainable agricultural practices led to a series of inevitable famines in Rwanda. By the late 1980’s and early 90’s, famines were occurring in several parts of the country. The famines occurring had a two-fold problem. On one hand there was a lack of availability of kilocalories per person per day, which was yet another reason for escalating tensions in Rwanda. On the other hand, an estimated 95 percent of the employed population was engaged in

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