William Cronon Changes In The Land Summary

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1William Cronon’s Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England observes the changes of New England caused by the Indians and European settlers. In Cronon’s thesis he states, “the shift from Indian to European dominance in New England entailed important changes—well known to historians—in the ways these peoples organized their lives, but it also involved fundamental reorganizations—less well known to historians—in the region’s plant and animal communities” (Cronon xv). When colonist from Europe ventured to North America, the ecosystem would gradually change as of consequence. Cronon highlights not only the ecological changes caused by colonization but also the native’s practices that affected the environment. 2The economic and environmental value of New England was obvious and to the Europeans. With an abundance of land, animals and plant life, the settlers were astounded. Forests that…show more content…
While Europeans believed that land could and should be owned by the individual, Natives believed that everyone had the right to land considering their lives were shaped by the seasons, overall leading them to a nomadic lifestyle. With the Natives only believing in land being territorially owned while Europeans believed in the purchase or granting of land, conflicts were sure to arise. 6As soon as the Europeans stepped upon the shores of New England, they were passively killing Native Americans. Europeans carrying pathogens would begin to harm natives unknowingly, Cronon wrote: “The 1633 epidemic saw mortalities in many villages reach 95 percent” (Cronon 87) showing the range of how much the diseases affected the Natives. Without the required immunities to diseases such as Influenza, the Indians were defenseless in this form of warfare, the several deaths leading to Europeans claim even more land due to the diminishing numbers of the

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