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NATURE'S NATION examines our consumer-based industrial and urban society, and comments upon the heavy human and environmental price this society exacts. Opie contextualizes the political, economic, social, and cultural development of America within an environmental framework. Students discover the effects that 15th-century European philosophies have on conditions in the New World, the effects of westward expansion on America's environment, and connections between other historical events and environmental conditions.
Introduction: What is Environmental History? Part I: Europeans Take Command. 1. O Strange New World. 2. The World We Have Lost: People of the Land. Part II: Shaping the National Landscape. 3. The Federal Geography. 4. When the United States Was an Undeveloped Country. 5. From Sea to Shining Sea: Unifying American Space. 6. Natural History, Romantic America, and Utopia: Laying Claim to Paradise. Part III: Creating the Industrial Infrastructure. 7. Shaping Our Environmental Future: Industrial America. 8. Reshaping the Nation: The Built Environment and Public Works. 9. The Environmental Costs of Industrial America: Cities and Landscapes in Trouble. 10. From Nature's Water to Public Works Water: America Becomes a Hydraulic Civilization. 11. Hitting the Wall: Environmental Limits in Appalachia and on the Plains. Part IV: Rethinking America: The Making of Environmentalism. 12. Recovering "Original America": The Wilderness Movement. 13. Environmentalism Enters the American Mainstream: Environmental Science, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Public Awareness. 14. Risk and Regulation: Environmentalism Enters the Modern Era.