Americans and Their Forests A Historical Geography

ISBN-10: 0521428378
ISBN-13: 9780521428378
Edition: N/A
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Description: When Europeans first reached the land that would become the United States they were staggered by the breadth and density of the forest they found. The existence of that forest, and the effort either to use or subdue it, have been constant themes in  More...

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Book details

List price: $79.99
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 6/26/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 624
Size: 7.25" wide x 10.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.838
Language: English

When Europeans first reached the land that would become the United States they were staggered by the breadth and density of the forest they found. The existence of that forest, and the effort either to use or subdue it, have been constant themes in American history, literature, economics, and geography up to the meaning of the forest in American history and culture, he describes and analyzes the clearing and use of the forest from pre-European times to the present, and he traces the subsequent regrowth of the forest since the middle of the twentieth century. Dr Williams begins by exploring the role of the forest in American culture: the symbols, themes, and concepts - for example, pioneer woodsman, lumberjack, wilderness - generated by contact with the vast land of trees. He considers the Indian use of the forest, describing the ways in which native tribes altered it, primarily through fire, to promote a subsistence economy. Early European settlers, he shows, extracted many products from the forest, and also began the extensive clearance of trees that would continue for almost three hundred years. Succeeding chapters, organized by topic and region, cover agricultural and industrial effects upon and uses of the forest. Dr Williams explores the rise (and often fall) of industries based upon forest products: naval stores, timber for building, charcoal and the iron industry, the railroads. Attention is devoted to the forests of the Middle West, the South, and the Pacific Northwest. By the late nineteenth century Americans began to realize that the forest was not boundless and moved to preserve those portions, still extensive, that remained. In the wake of the movement for preservation, Dr Williams describes how the forest began to regrow, especially after 1950, in areas where it had originally been vigorous and healthy, a development that continues today.

Michael Williams is a writer of plays, musicals, operas and novels and the Managing Director of Cape Town Opera in South Africa. He has written operas for young people based on African mythology, as well as the libretti for symphonic operas that have premiered around the world.

List of illustrations
List of tables
Preface
A note on tree, lumber, and plant association names
Abbrevaitions
The Forest Before 1600
The forest in American life
The forest and the Indian
Change in the Forest, 1600-1859
The forest and pioneer life, 1600-1810
Two centuries of change: the commercial uses of the forest
The quickening pace: agricultural clearing, 1810-1860
The quickening pace: the industrial impact, 1810-1860
Regional and National Impacts, 1860-1920
The lumberman's assault on the forests of the Lake States, 1860-1890
The lumberman's assault on the southern forest, 1880-1920
The last lumber frontier: the rise of the Pacific Northwest, 1880-1940
Industrial impacts on the forest, 1860-1920
Agricultural impacts on the forest, 1860-1920
Inquiry and Concern: Questions About the Forest, 1870-1933
Preservation and management, 1870-1910
Ownership, supply, protection, and use, 1900-1933
The rebirth of the forest, 1933 and after
Notes
References
Index

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