Dispossessing The Wilderness: Indian Removal And The Making Of National Parks By Mark David Spence

Indian removal and the making of National Parks by Mark David Spence is about idea of wilderness preservation and shows where native Americans live and how uninhabited wilderness was form and created, over time how this led to the romanticism of the creations of national parks. Mark David Spence argues that “uninhabited wilderness had to be created before it could be preserved.” So, what does it mean, how did uninhabited wilderness become reified, and how does it tell us about parks today? Well to create wilderness it needs to have a structure of beauty, amazement, and a value of romanticism to be able to capture the truth of wilderness.

To make this happen you must refine the area to a national park by removing any man-made structures and anything traumatizing the land and let nothing hinder it, except nature itself.

Some forms of things hindering wilderness is tribes of native people in the united states which had must be removed to be able to capture the land in its true form, in the 19th century this was the goal of the United States to preserve the highest level of natural landscapes to gain traction over the land but the native people did not disappear but overall it was the United States goal to force Native Americans to reservations and possible intergrade them to American society and at the same time the United States were scared to loose the natural landscapes because of the growth and exploration of white settlers as well because at the time many outdoor enthusiasts wanted wilderness as uninhabited beautiful place to where it could be set aside for the pleasure and benefit for others not to just be ruined by western expansion.

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Indian removal and the making of National Parks by Mark David Spence is manly about the landscapes of the United States, the journeys, Native people, and the preservation of the land but for Marks argument I believe the first two chapters and chapter five really explain and captures his argument of uninhabited wilderness, how does it reified national parks, and how is it part of the history of national parks idea. In the first chapter Looking backwards and westwards the Author talks about how the land is mysterious and beautiful but does it in a way of understanding the early preservationist thinking and helps you realize the change going on in the Americans at the moment about the Natives and the wilderness during the midcentury and nineteenth century.

George Caitlin is one of the main characters that shows he is in favor of protecting the natural aspects and life in the wilderness, by doing so he shows the pristine natural wildness those the means of artistic, social, and political trends, this gives a way to the end of the chapter showing how it could impact and shape America by changing people’s views and ways of life throughout the America’s and give a new perspective on the wilderness, “Set off from development to inspire future generations of painters and travelers as they become “further isolated from pristine wildness and beauty”.

Because of all of this it led to the beginning of the first reservation and natural park later in the century. How this relates to Marks argument uninhabited wilderness is by showing the reified part of nature where this is how nature is meant to look and act without any additional forces and conflicts affecting the land and it creates a sense of romanticism that made people want to explore and leave no trace to keep it as pristine as possible for future generations to enjoy it. You also can see this being done in current national parks where it is forbidden to shape, destroy, or alter anything in the national parks.

In the Second chapter The Wild West, or Toward Separate Islands this chapter is manly about the creation of the first national park, the conflict with the native people, and other conflicts the nation goes through. This chapter shows the troubling times of the Native Americans how they are forced off parts of lands to preserve the natural beauty but some of this events either end with the Indians leaving for another reservation or fight for their land creating conflict between both sides, because of the federal government trying to take land for many of reasons this can anger some tribes which in turn gets the US send in troops involved that end up in massacres, which held many treaty councils to help open up new areas for the natives but it either end there or carried to more bloodshed.

President Lincoln in 1864 signed that Yosemite Park for public domain land about fifteen square miles for use and it was under the protection of California for a large preservation area. By the end of the chapter there was also another preservation created for Yellowstone is which protected it in its natural condition, because of this act many natives where removed from the land plus the land itself was dedicated to national parks “Passed into law on March 1, 1872 Yellowstone Park Act removed more than two million acres of the public domain from “settlement, occupancy, or sale”.

Because of this situation it did create uninhabited wilderness and gave a leap to creating reified national park but the only down side to this act is that Congress accidentally protected the unoccupied lands which is where many natives groups exercised their treaty rights and this created a huge conflict for the national park system and park officials, so “In an effort to correct the situation, they eventually collaborated with the Indian Service, the military, and the federal judiciary to effectively exclude Indians from Yellowstone”. So overall you can see that is that they did create an uninhabited wilderness by getting rid of the Indians and it does show how Congress pushed to create a reified preserved but it does tells us how the creation of national park idea was somewhat demeaning to the natives and taking away the rights of the Native people and their land.

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Dispossessing The Wilderness: Indian Removal And The Making Of National Parks By Mark David Spence. (2022, May 12). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/dispossessing-the-wilderness-indian-removal-and-the-making-of-national-parks-by-mark-david-spence/

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