Are humans part of the natural world, or is the natural world humankind's to subject and exploit? These seemingly unreconcilable beliefs drive the debate over man's proper role in nature and use, or abuse, of nature and its bounty.
Controversy surrounding environmental issues is not a recent development in American history. Since the time of the early settlers, issues concerning the environment have plagued certain groups of Americans. In this exhaustively researched study, primary documents support different sides of various questions, such as the use of water as an energy source, deforestation, gold mining in California, and the emergence of wildlife conservation. High school and college students will not only find this book extremely comprehensive, but will also find its heated discussions exceptionally engaging.
Some of the major topics covered include differences between the way Native Americans and early settlers treated the land, The Land Ordinance of 1785, Thomas Jefferson's views about the land, the commercial progress of New England river valleys, establishing the Adirondack Forest Preserve in 1885, Theodore Roosevelt's thoughts on forest conservation, the pros and cons of hydraulic gold mining, the near-extinction of the North American bison, andThe Lacey Act
Magoc's book will prove an essential asset for all American history students.