The Environment in American History: Nature and the Formation of the United States

1st Edition

Jeff Crane

Published December 11, 2014
Textbook - 440 Pages - 10 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415808729 - CAT# Y132530

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From pre-European contact to the present day, people living in what is now the United States have constantly manipulated their environment. The use of natural resources – animals, plants, minerals, water, and land – has produced both prosperity and destruction, reshaping the land and human responses to it. The Environment in American History is a clear and comprehensive account that vividly shows students how the environment played a defining role in the development of American society.

Organized in thirteen chronological chapters, and extensively illustrated, the book covers themes including:

  • Native peoples’ manipulation of the environment across various regions
  • The role of Old World livestock and diseases in European conquests
  • Plantation agriculture and slavery
  • Westward expansion and the exploitation of natural resources
  • Environmental influences on the Civil War and World War II
  • The emergence and development of environmental activism
  • Industrialization, and the growth of cities and suburbs
  • Ecological restoration and climate change

Each chapter includes a selection of primary documents, and the book is supported by a robust companion website that provides further resources for students and instructors. Drawing on current scholarship, Jeff Crane has created a vibrant and engaging survey that is a key resource for all students of American environmental history.


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