Contents of new #EnvHist text

The new version of American Environmental History includes what I had originally planned for "Part 2." The additional content completes the 15-chapter semester-long text. I decided not to add an instructor guide with questions and discussion prompts, but you can find that in the TopHat version if you're interested. The text will be available next week, as soon as I see the final proof. Also, the existing chapters have improved illustrations, so it's a better book all round.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Prehistory 1

This is the story of how people first reached the Americas and what they did when they got here. We’ll discuss the regular climate cycles that produce ice ages and the changes that result. We’ll discover Beringia, where the ancestors of Native Americans lived for thousands of years. And we’ll talk about the first Americans.

Chapter 2: Recontact 24

The cultures of the Americas developed separately from their Eurasian cousins for about 12,000 years. In this chapter we’ll explore what happened when Europeans discovered the Americas.

Chapter 3: Colonial North America 38

Who came to North America? What did they expect? What did they find? What did they do?

Chapter 4: Frontier and Grid 51

In this chapter we explore the lure of the Western Frontier on colonists and early Americans, and how people began expanding westward from the initial European settlements in North America.

Chapter 5: Commons, Mills, Corporations 77

The Industrial Revolution not only changed America’s economy and spurred the growth of cities; it changed the way Americans relate to the natural environment. In this chapter we trace changes in our ideas of what the environment is for, and who it’s for.

Chapter 6: Transportation Revolution 96

The ability to move people and goods from place to place quickly and affordably changed American society radically. The economic and political changes that went along with transportation technology were equally revolutionary.

Chapter 7: Centers and Peripheries 113

In this chapter we examine the complex relationships between Eastern and Western cities, as centers of production and consumption, and the peripheral places they depended on for raw materials and consumers.

Chapter 8: Green Revolution 131

Although we may not be aware of it, the continued existence of the modern world depends on three minerals. In this chapter we’ll explore the history of fertilizer.

Chapter 9: City Life 143

Rapid growth stressed city environments, and growing cities made controversial claims on the environments outside the city limits. Some profited, and others worked to improve city life for everyone.

Chapter 10: Wilderness & Country Life 160

In this chapter we examine both the actions of nineteenth-century Americans with respect to the environment, and the ways their ideas about wilderness and life in rural America influenced those actions.

Chapter 11: Farmers & Agribusiness 176

Farmers have been central to each of the periods we have covered in previous chapters. In this chapter, we focus on the farms themselves and look at how they have changed over time and what those changes might mean.

Chapter 12: Treasures Underground 192

Natural resources have always been an important motivation for nations exploring the Americas. In this chapter we'll explore the treasures Europeans and Americans found in the western hemisphere and the ongoing search for resources.

Chapter 13: Limits to Growth? 206

Are human societies able to continue growing forever, or are there limits to the Earth's carrying capacity? A short explanation of some of the economics concepts that keep coming up in this text.

Chapter 14: Economics & Externalities 218

A short explanation of some of the economics concepts that keep coming up in this text.

Chapter 15: Food and Choice 228

We can take the knowledge we gain studying history and apply it to our present and to the future. Here’s one possibility.