1st Essay Sample on Changes in the Land
“Changes in the Land; Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England” In this paper, I will answer the following question: Compare and contrast the impacts of the New England Colonists and New England Natives on that region’s ecosystem. Explain the cultural, social and economic factors that account for the different impacts the two groups had on the land. For starters I would like to state that I really enjoyed reading this book. I found the facts and stories presented in the book to be very interesting and honest. I believe the author did a great job of looking at both perspectives and presented the information in a fair and concise manner.
From my experiences growing up, a lot of the information presented in this book is rarely taught in the classroom. From what I can remember growing up, the emphasis is placed on Christopher Columbus and the other Europeans arriving at the New World and their trials and tribulations they experience here. Never is anything taught about how the Native Americans feel about this and how their way of living is affected by the new settlers. I am a graduate student in the Education field with the hopes of one day becoming a Social Studies/Psychology teacher and this is relevant information that I feel should be shared with the students. Not only that but I feel that by not sharing this information, we are oppressing the lives of Native American students that we may have in our classrooms.
Now that I have stated these points, I will step off of my soapbox and continue on with the relevant parts of my essay. Thefirst specific change in the ecosystem I would like to discuss is deforestation. When the European settlers arrived and prior to their arrival, deforestation occurred for many reasons. When the European settlers arrived, they would clear the land to be able to establish homes and to be able to grow food.
2nd Essay Sample on Changes in the Land
In his book, Changes in the Land, William Cronon explores the relationship between the European and indigenous populations and local ecologies between 1620 and 1800. As he states at the outset of the book: “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 and animal communities.;(vii) Cronon’s approach involves an investigation not only of the role a rapidly changing human population played in the altering of the ecology of New England, but the impact that ecology had on the local populations through time. By augmenting a traditional historical study with tools from anthropology and the biological sciences, Cronon develops a unique and sophisticated analysis of the period. With an emphasis on their centrality to the understanding of the changes taking place in local ecosystems, Cronon describes relationships between Indian and European groups, with particular interest in the variety of responses different European groups met with from different indigenous populations. Cronon underscores the importance of viewing these contacts not as being wholly representative of “European” or “Indian” populations, but as discrete meetings with their own situational patterns of interaction, though they may have historical precedents.
In this sense, the smaller colonial towns and Native American groups parallel the distributed nature of ecosystems and microclimates. Working within these smaller ecosystems, the Indians of precolonial New England subsisted off the land in a migratory fashion.