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Cronon Paper

Cronon Paper
New England was a region that experienced a tremendous change in the early days. The territory that was known to be attractive and natural was turned into a bare land after the European settlement. This essay discusses how the Europeans cut down trees and vegetation, tamed wild animals, as well as involved in agriculture and trade in New England, leading to the occurrence of ecological changes that affected the Native Americans adversely.
Question 1
The book Changes in the Land is about the drastic change that took place in New England when the Europeans dominated the land. New England was initially occupied by the Indians, but the Europeans colonized the territory, making significant changes in the land. The book clearly describes the events that led to the exploration and colonization of New England by the Europeans. Furthermore, it explains how the Europeans disorganized the natives way of life, which led to the dramatic change in the ecology of New England. Cronon's thesis is that the change from Indian control to that of the Europeans involved pronounced changes which included organized livelihood and significant reorganizations (Cronon & Demos, 2011).
Question 2
When the Europeans first arrived in New England, they found several things. Firstly, there was a significant number of trees that formed forests that had never been seen in the 19th century. The forests were particularly common along the coastline, and they supported the wildlife. This situation was entirely different from the Europeans homeland because they had exhausted large parts of their woods to satisfy the fuel demand (Roark, 2012). Furthermore, the Indians did not have domestic animals. All animals were wild, which made the ecology of New England healthier as compared to where the Europeans had come from. The absence of domestic animals shocked the Europeans as they had tamed some in their homeland for agricultural purposes (Roark, 2012). Moreover, meadow grass and strawberries were large and numerous as they had grown without the interference of people. The existence of these plants was unheard of in Europe, as people had cleared the natural vegetation for cultivation. The Europeans found this environment of value to them because they would clear the natural vegetation to create room for agriculture. They preferred planting cash crops which would bring them financial income rather than natural plants which were not of economic value. Additionally, heavy forests were beneficial to the Europeans as they were used for fuel, fences, and ships mast. Besides, the wild animals in New England environment were beneficial to the Europeans because they tamed them for agricultural purposes and trade. The livestock would provide manure to the European farmers while animals such as bulls plowed the land and donkeys were used to carry luggage from their farms (Roark, 2012).
Question 3
The Indians observed the seasonal patterns that existed in their environment. They would fish in summer, which can be considered a fish season, and then move to the coast. There were seasons for various fruit and food and, as soon as the season was over, they would move to another region. As such, they lived in portable houses and satisfied the basic needs only, which made their mobility easier. During winter, they would venture into hunting until the season was over. The southern New England groups obtained local materials and traded them across various regions while the northern New England inhabitants only dealt with local trade. Additionally, the northern groups had never practiced agriculture because of poor climatic conditions and the rocky state of their land. On the other hand, the southern groups relied heavily on agriculture because of their fertile land. Because of farming, the southern region had plenty of food, leading to tremendous growth in population. The changes in seasons and the state of the land of the Indians shaped and influenced the development of the lifestyles and society of the tribes that lived there (Cronon & Demos, 2011). The northern tribes whose land was infertile ventured into other activities such as hunting, fishing, and trade. They would move to various regions which favored their current activities. For those in the south who practiced agriculture, seasons were also important, as they were aware of the crops to plant during cold or hot seasons. They manipulated their environment with frequent mobility during seasons, which ensured that they harvested mature foods and plants until the next season.
Question 4
In the Indian society, women were mainly involved in farming. They would be engaged in the land preparation, planting, and harvesting. On the other hand, the men were actively involved in hunting. They would go to the forests and hunt edible animals. The women were also responsible for household chores such as cooking, fetching firewood and water, and taking care of the children. The men, on the other hand, were engaged in wars while the women remained at home (Cronon & Demos, 2011). The women were also involved in building their houses while the men carried them to various points such as fishing or farming places.
Question 5
Concerning the issue of land, the Indians believed in communal sharing of land while the Europeans believed in land ownership. For the Indians, things such as land, as well as fishing and grazing fields, were owned seasonally for a given period. Additionally, the Indians believed that people could only own for what they had worked. According to the Indians, ownership depended on the location of tribes during a particular season. Immediately after the season was over, the ownership could change to another group. For the Europeans, they purchased the land from the Natives and owned it completely. The Crowns in the Indian community could also grant the land to the Europeans. The Indians view on land ownership could be attributed to their culture and lifestyles because nobody could claim to own a land because the Native Americans did not live permanently in one place. They also lived in communal groups which made it difficult to own a land as an individual. The Europeans were shocked by the Indians mentality concerning land ownership. The granting of land by the Crown could not prove previous land ownership, which justified European invasion of the Indian land. Consequently, the Europeans saw the need of settling in their newly acquired territories, improving them. This situation made it easier for the Europeans to practice farming and livestock keeping. Therefore, they performed well in these activities compared to the Indians who were nomads.
Question 6
The Europeans carried diseases to New England. The Indians were susceptible to diseases because they were used to their natural environment that only had mild illnesses. Besides, the Indian mothers did not have necessary antibodies, leading to a massive death of infants. Furthermore, the Indians lived in densely populated areas because the Europeans had invaded large portions of their lands. The overpopulated places promoted the high spread of these diseases. As a result, most Indians succumbed to death. This situation changed the lives of the Indians, as they had to build fences to prevent their crops from being infected by the pests from the European farms. The death further led to more land grabbing because the Europeans claimed that it was God's way of sweeping the Natives. The devastating situation made the Indians miserable as they lacked knowledge of dealing with all these problems.
Question 7
By this time, the Europeans had fully conquered New England. The situation became worse when the Europeans introduced trade. They exchanged furs and skin for clothes, knives, and hooks. The Natives would hunt for the animals, hence obtaining the fur and skin to sell them to the Europeans. The intense hunting led to the scarcity of these species and the Europeans soon switched to timber business where they cut down trees. The trees were cut to create more land for agriculture and provide material for furniture and wood. These activities resulted in extreme changes in climate. For example, winters became frigid while summers became scorching, making it conducive for animals (Cronon & Demos, 2011). Another example is that there was an increase in the formation of swamps, floods, and erosion.
Question 8
Changes in the Land is an educational book that would be suitable for anyone who is interested in learning the history of New England. It gives an outline of each event in a simple and understandable language. It also provides a vivid picture of the land before and after the European colonization. I would recommend it to others as it is informative and gripping in each chapter.
New England was a beautiful land as described in history books. The Indians had maintained their environment. They interfered with neither the vegetation nor the animals in the environment. However, the colonization of the Europeans changed the state of this land within a few years. They cut down trees, as well as involved in intensive agriculture and trade. Additionally, the Europeans grabbed the land of the innocent Indians and treated it as their own. These activities adversely affected the Indians way of life and carried dangerous diseases that killed many Indians. As a result, the Indians had no option but to conform to the Europeans way of life. People ought to guard their land to avoid such hazardous consequences.
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NellyCook 103 days ago
calendar Until 22/05/2021 07:00:00 expired

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