Essay from the book changes in the land by william cronon. due aug.

July 17, 2015


Instructions for Changes in the Land

Is due on Aug 6th of 2015



Book Name: Changes In The Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon. ISBN-10: 0-8090-0158-6








1. Your opening paragraph should briefly address these two questions: In general, what is this book about? What is Cronon’s thesis?


2. When Europeans first arrived in New England, what did they find? What were the most important ways the New England environment differed from that of Europe? In what ways did they find that environment to be of value to them?


3. Explain how the New England enviroment-plants, animals, climate, topography- accounted for the diversity found in the indian tribes that lived there? For example, how does it explain why northern New England tribes differed from those in southern New England? What were those differences? In what ways did the New England enviroment shape or influence the development of the lifestyle and society of the tribes that lived there? How did Indians shape and manipulate the environment to fit their lifestyles?


4. Describe the respective roles of men and women in Indian society.


5. The Indian view of property and land possession differed significantly from that of Europeans. Briefly discuss how the indians viewed property and the possession of land. HOw did the European’s views on those subjects lead them to be critical of the indian way of life and to justify their taking of Indian land?


6. Discuss the impact of European diseases on Indian populations and society. Why were the indians so susceptile to these discases? In what ways did diseases change and devastatc Indian society?


7. How did the European conquest of New England dramatically  alter its environment? In particular, discuss how the European demand for certain plant and animal products change the character of the enviroment. How did European farming practices affect New England’s environment? Your discussion should include two key example cited by Cronon.


8. What did you think of the book? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?



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