William Cronon Changes In The Land Summary

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William Cronon states in his thesis that “different peoples choose different ways of interacting with their surrounding environments, and their choices ramify through not only the human community but the larger ecosystems as well.” (Cronon xv) The significance of this is relative to the interpretation that people and their collective decisions have altered the course of American life both culturally and ecologically. The lives of Native Americans were also changed dramatically due to changes in farming, treatment of the land, and the beginning of European colonization. Cultural consequences of European immigration to New England included the resulting death toll of Native Americans over the next century along with the overuse of fertile land. It is still up for debate on whether or not Europeans changed the rate at which environmental change occurred in New England but they contributed to many of the causes such as the introduction of livestock. Several ecological consequences of European immigration to the Americas, …show more content…
The rise of government forced Native American’s to be pushed West or killed off in order for the European colonists to begin settling on the land and setting up more trade routes. In Changes in the Land, Cronon writes “by 1800, Indians could no longer living the same seasons of want and plenty that their ancestors had, for the simple reason that crucial aspects of those seasons had changed beyond recognition.” (Cronon 169) Moreover one of the most drastic results of European settlement was the spread of disease. Not only did they spread typical Europeans disease but also epidemic from the Old World such as malaria, yellow fever, and smallpox, among several others. The Native Americans were tremendously healthy people but because they had never been subject to these types of organisms a large percent of them