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Other titles in the Major Problems in American History series:

Major Problems in American Environmental History Documents and Essays


Major Problems in American Environmental History Documents and Essays Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

'Designed to encourage critical thinking about history, the MAJOR PROBLEMS IN AMERICAN HISTORY series introduces readers to both primary sources and analytical essays on important topics in U.S. history. MAJOR PROBLEMS IN AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY presents major themes and controversial issues from native American times to the present, drawn from compelling, readable sources that draw readers into the process of developing their own perspectives on American environmental history. This text presents a carefully selected group of readings organized to allow readers to evaluate primary sources, test the interpretations of distinguished historians, and draw their own conclusions. Each chapter includes introductions, source notes, and suggested readings.'


This volume traces the history of environmental conditions in the United States through the examination of critical issues such as pollution, conservation, and wilderness preservation. The Second Edition of this popular text includes several new essays and documents and pays particular attention to multiculturalism and gender throughout. In order to place American environmental issues in a larger context, the text emphasizes international relations and globalization.

About the Author

Thomas Paterson is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Connecticut and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968. In addition to being the General Editor of Houghton Mifflin's Major Problems series, he is co-author of Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, 5/e, (Houghton Mifflin, 2000) and A People and A Nation, 6/e (Houghton Mifflin, 2001). In addition to authoring several books and editing collections of essays on the history of U.S. Foreign Relations, he served as senior editor of the four-volume Encyclopedia of American Foreign Relations (1997). He is part president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Table of Contents

Note: Each chapter concludes with Further Reading. 1. What Is Environmental History? Essays Donald Worster, Doing Environmental History Jared Diamond, Predicting Environmental History William Cronon, Using Environmental History Carolyn Merchant, Interpreting Environmental History 2. Native American Ecology and European Contact Documents 1. A Spanish Explorer Views the Pueblos, 1580 2. Spanish Explorers Observe Pueblo Irrigation, 1582 3. A Spaniard Testifies on the Effects of Pueblo Colonization, 1601 4. Nicholas Denys Describes the Micmac Fur Trade, 1672 5. A Jesuit Missionary Recalls Micmac Hunting Rituals, 1691 6. Lewis and Clark Describe the Great Plains, 1804 7. Plains Indians' Pictographs, Recorded by George Catlin in 1844 Essays Ramon Guierrez, Pueblos and Spanish in the Southwest Calvin Martin, Micmacs and French in the Northeast Andrew Isenberg, Indians and Bison on the Great Plains 3. The New England Forest in the Seventeenth Century Documents 1. William Bradford Faces a "Hideous and Desolate Wilderness," 1620-1635 2. John Winthrop Sets Forth the Grounds for Settling in New England, 1629 3. Thomas Morton Praises the New English Canaan, 1632 4. William Wood Portrays Indian Women's Housing and Horticulture, 1634 5. Anne Bradstreet Eulogizes Nature, 1650 6. Edward Johnson Describes the Transformation of the Wilderness, 1654 7. A Timber Merchant's Estate, 1682 8. Cotton Mather Presents the Scale of Nature, 1721 9. A Governor Enforces the King's Forest Policy, 1730 Essays Jim O'Brien, A Beaver's Perspective on North American History Samuel F. Manning, A Colonist's Perspective on the New England Forest Mark Stoll, Puritan Perspectives on the New England Environment 4. Tobacco and Rice in the Colonial South Documents 1. John White Depicts Indian Planting and Fishing in North Carolina, 1590 2. Virginia Settlers Discover Tobacco, 1614-1617 3. A Chesapeake Planter Describes His Holdings, 1686 4. Robert Beverley Discourses on Indians and Nature in Virginia, 1705 5. A Governor Explains South Carolina Rice Production, 1761 6. A Traveler Describes Tobacco Cultivation, 1775 7. Thomas Jefferson Discusses the "Nature" of Blacks and Worn-Out Soils, 1787 8. Olaudah Equiano Describes His Enslavement, 1790 Essays Avery O. Craven, Tobacco and Soils in the Chesapeake Judith Carney, Rice and Slaves in the Low Country William Loren Katz, Black Indians in the South 5. Farms and Cities in the Early Republic Documents 1. J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur Asks, "What Is an American?" 1782 2. Thomas Jefferson Extols the Agrarian Ideal, 1787 3. Benjamin Rush Praises the Market Farmers of Pennsylvania, 1789 4. Anna Howell's Farm Diary, 1820 5. Samuel Slater's Proposal on Cotton Spinning, 1789 6. Benjamin Henry Latrobe on Polluted Water in Philadelphia, 1798 7. John James Audubon Depicts the Squatters of the Mississippi, 1808-1834 8. Calvin Colton on Self-Made Men, 1844 Essays Carolyn Merchant, Farms and Subsistence Martin Melosi, Pollution and Cities Theodore Steinberg, Water and Industry 6. Nature and the Market in the Nineteenth Century Documents 1. Phillis Wheatley Eulogizes Nature, 1773 2. John James Audubon Describes Shooting Birds, 1808-1834 3. James Fenimore Cooper Laments the "Wasty Ways" of Pioneers, 1823 4. Hudson River Painters Depict Nature, 1836-1849 5. George Catlin on Indians, Nature, and Civilization, 1844 6. Ralph Waldo Emerson Expounds on Nature and Wealth, 1844 7. Henry David Thoreau on Nature Versus Civilization, 1854 8. Rebecca Harding Davis on Pollution and Human Life in the Iron Mills, 1861 Essays Michael Heiman, Civilization over Nature Robert Kuhn McGregor, Nature over Civilization Elizabeth D. Blum, Slave Women and Nature 7. The Cotton South Before and After the Civil War Documents 1. Frances Anne Kemble Discusses Slavery and Nature in Georgia, 1838-1839 2. A Georgia Planter Tells Why Cotton Pays, 1847 3. Frederick Law Olmsted Describes Cotton Production and Environmental Deterioration, 1861 4. Sharecroppers' Contracts, 1876-1886 5. Freed Slave Louis Hughes Describes Cotton Raising and Cotton Worms, 1897 6. A Louisiana Convention Declares War on the Boll Weevil, 1903 7. Ex-Slaves Describe Their Means of Subsistence, 1937 8. A Freed Slave Explains "Why That Boll Weevil Done Come," 1945 Essays Albert Cowdrey, Soils Used Eugene Genovese, Soils Abused Theodore Steinberg, Soils Extracted 8. Extracting the Far West in the Nineteenth Century Documents 1. A Russian Sailor Depicts the Sea Otter Trade, 1813 2. A Manager Describes the Russian American Company, 1835 3. Senator Thomas Hart Benton Explains Manifest Destiny, 1846 4. A Federal Agent Assesses Mining's Impact on the Indians, 1853 5. James Marshall Tells How He Discovered Gold, 1857 6. Joaquin Miller Reveals the Environmental Deterioration in the Gold Country, 1890 7. A Fish Commissioner Explains the Need for Salmon Protection, 1885 8. A Capitalist Advocates Salmon Hatcheries, 1893 9. An Indian Woman Deplores the Soreness of the Land, Recorded in 1925 Essays James Gibson, Otters versus Russians in Alaska Robert Kelley, Miners versus Farmers in California Richard White, Salmon versus Fishers in the Northwest 9. Great Plains Grasslands Exploited Documents 1. Pioneer Women Portray the Plains Environment, 1860-1886 2. The Homestead Act, 1862 3. Joseph G. McCoy Describes the Chisholm Trail and Abilene Stockyards, 1874 4. Frederick Jackson Turner Explains the Significance of the Frontier in American History, 1893 5. John Steinbeck Depicts the Dust Bowl, 1939 6. Plenty-coups Mourns the Vanishing Buffalo, Recorded in 1950 7. An Editor Bids Good Riddance to Buffalo, 1979 Essays Walter Prescott Webb, Great Plains Ecology Donald Worster, Cowboy Ecology William Cronon, Telling Stories About Ecology 10. Resource Conservation in the Twentieth Century Documents 1. George Perkins Marsh Discusses the Relationship of Man and Nature, 1864 2. John Wesley Powell Advocates Reclamation, 1878 3. The Reclamation Act, 1902 4. Theodore Roosevelt Publicizes Conservation, 1908 5. George L. Knapp Opposes Conservation, 1910 6. Mrs. Marion Crocker Argues for the Conservation Imperative, 1912 7. Robert Marshall Advocates the People's Forests, 1933 8. Hugh Bennett Presses for Soil Conservation, 1947 9. Gifford Pinchot Recalls the Origins of the Conservation Movement, 1947 Essays Samuel P. Hays, From Conservation to Environment Marc Reisner, Conservation as Reclamation Carolyn Merchant, Women and Conservation 11. Wilderness Preservation in the Twentieth Century Documents 1. Florence Merriam Bailey Recalls the Early Audubon Women, 1900 2. Mary Austin Describes the Wonders of the Desert, 1903 3. John Muir Advocates Wilderness Preservation, 1912 4. The National Parks Act, 1916 5. Chief Luther Standing Bear Gives an Indian View of Wilderness, Recorded in 1933 6. The Wilderness Act, 1964 7. Edward Abbey on Industrial Tourism in the National Parks, 1968 Essays Roderick Nash, The Value of Wilderness Philip Burnham, Indians and Wilderness William Cronon, The Trouble with Wilderness 12. Cities, Industries, and Pollution in the Twentieth Century Documents 1. A Woman Reformer Advocates Civic Cleanliness, 1901 2. Upton Sinclair Describes the Chicago Stockyards, 1905 3. Jane Addams Works to Control Garbage in Chicago, 1910 4. A Woman Reformer Promotes Smoke Abatement, 1912 5. Henry Ford Recalls the Invention of the Automobile, 1922 6. A Black Migrant Experiences the Urban Environment, 1927 7. Alice Hamilton Discusses Industrial Poisons, 1943 8. Dwight D. Eisenhower Promotes the Interstate Highway System, 1955 Essays Robert Gottlieb, Industrial Pollution and Reform Adam Rome, Suburbs and Pollution James Flink, Automobiles and Roads 13. The Emergence of Ecology in the Twentieth Century Documents 1. Ellen Swallow Richards Defines Human Ecology, 1907 2. Frederic Clements Describes Plant Succession, 1916 3. Henry Gleason Explains Plant Associations, 1926 4. Arthur Tansley Introduces the Ecosystem, 1935 5. Aldo Leopold Proposes a Land Ethic, 1949 6. Rachel Carson Warns of a Silent Spring, 1962 7. Eugene P. Odum Discusses the Stability of the Ecosystem, 1969 8. Pickett and White Explain Patch Dynamics, 1985 Essays Robert Clarke, Ellen Swallow Richards's Human Ecology Donald Worster, Organic, Economic, and Chaotic Ecology Linda Lear, Rachel Carson's Ecological Vision 14. Water, Energy, and Population in the Twentieth Century Documents 1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Dedicates Hoover Dam, 1935 2. The National Environmental Policy Act, 1969 3. Hopi Leaders Protest the Desecration of Their Sacred Lands, 1970 4. Barry Commoner Discusses the Problems of Nuclear Energy, 1971 5. A Federal Director Explains Environmental Risk, 1983 6. A Business Leader Discusses Industry's Environmental Responsibilities, 1987 7. Paul and Anne Ehrlich Warn of a Population Explosion, 1990 Essays Charles Wilkinson, Water and the Environment David E. Nye, Energy and the Environment Edmund Russell III, Environmental Regulation 15. Globalization: The United States in the Wider World Documents 1. Ben Chavis Reports on Toxic Wastes and Race, 1987 2. Carl Anthony Explains Why African Americans Should Be Environmentalists, 1990 3. Winona LaDuke Considers Indians' Place in the Ecosystem, 1990 4. Two Feminists Discuss the Emergence of Ecofeminism, 1990 5. The Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, 1992 6. The Kyoto Protocol on Global Climate Change, 1997 7. Reporters Announce a World Population of Six Billion People, 1999 8. The Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, 2002 Essays Eileen McGurty, Environmental Justice Peter Borelli, Environmental Philosophy Fritjof Capra, Globalization and Environmental Sustainability

Product Details

Merchant, Carolyn (edt)
Wadsworth Publishing
Merchant, Carolyn
Merchant, Carolyn (Carolyn Merchant)
Paterson, Thomas
Merchant, Carolyn
Development - Sustainable Development
General History
World History-General
Teaching Methods & Materials - General
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Edition Description:
Major Problems in American History
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
9.20x6.54x.85 in. 1.69 lbs.

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Major Problems in American Environmental History Documents and Essays Used Trade Paper
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Product details 576 pages Cengage Learning - English 9780618308057 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This volume traces the history of environmental conditions in the United States through the examination of critical issues such as pollution, conservation, and wilderness preservation. The Second Edition of this popular text includes several new essays and documents and pays particular attention to multiculturalism and gender throughout. In order to place American environmental issues in a larger context, the text emphasizes international relations and globalization.
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