Cronon Worksheet

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History 2110 Reading Worksheet
William Cronon, Changes in the Land

Native Americans
1. How did the Native Americans occupy the land? What did they do to take possession and mark ownership?

They occupied the land by moving with the seasons. They made temporary settlements around whatever resource they were needed an when that season changed or they no longer needed the resource or it was depleted they would move on and do the same thing elsewhere.

2. How did their “occupation” influence the natural development of the landscape? How did they change the land they occupied?

The Indians would cooperate with the seasons instead of trying to do something that they couldn’t during the season. Therefore, by working with instead of against the seasons they didn’t have a large influence on the landscape. Since they worked with the seasons they would move whenever the resource they needed was not in season. Therefore they wouldn’t stay in one place too long to create a large impact.

3. Did the Native Americans have a concept of land ownership? If so, what was it? What did it mean to own the land for a Native American?

For the most part Native Americans didn’t have a concept of land ownership. The tribes were very mobile and didn’t stay in one place. They moved from place to place along with the seasons so everything was made so that it could be mobile and could be moved when needed. They did not believe in owning the land however they believe that they should live off of the land.

4. How did the Native Americans use the land they occupied? What did they consider good use for land? Bad use?

Native Americans used the land that they had to survive. They moved around seasons to season in order to get the resources that they needed. They would fish if there was a water source around or if there were a lot of land or a forest they would hunt. They considered food and home a good use for land; anywhere they could live.

Europeans
1. How did the European Colonists occupy the land in New England?

The European colonists came to New England and started raping the land almost immediately. The consensus was to take as much as they could and use it since most of what they took was going back to Europe regardless. However with that being said; they struggled when it came to living off of the land and sustaining them. They also forced many Native Americans off of their land and used it for commercial reasons.

2. How did their “occupation” influence the natural development of the landscape? How did they alter the landscape?

The main export to Europe was Tobacco. The Tobacco plant would drain the soil of nutrients and leave it barren. This would leave an area unsustainable for the growth of anything else. The animals that they brought would graze further out because the Europeans had no way to keep up the food for the animals. This would allow them to expand and spread out and develop even more land therefore their presence was great.

3. Did the European Colonists have a concept of land ownership? If so, what was it? What did it mean to own the land for a European Colonist?

The Europeans definitely had a concept of land ownership. The land that they took or occupied would be theirs and they could do with it what they wished. The more land the merrier. In England land was very scarce however it wasn’t in New England. Owning land gave Europeans the power to vote and make influence changes around them. It allowed them to feel as if they were important in changing the world around them.

4. How did the Europeans use the land they occupied? What did they consider good use for land? Bad use?

They used the land to grow crops and create a functional society. They used the land to create a way of life, which they were unable to do in England. They used it for infrastructure; building homes, churches and...