The Untilled Garden: Natural History and the Spirit of Conservation in America, 1740-1840

The Untilled Garden: Natural History and the Spirit of Conservation in America, 1740-1840

by Richard W. Judd
     
 

This book traces the origins of conservation thinking in America to the naturalists who explored the middle-western frontier between 1740 and 1840. Their inquiries yielded a comprehensive natural history of America and inspired much of the conservation and ecological thinking we associate with later environmental and ecological philosophy. These explorers witnessed

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Overview

This book traces the origins of conservation thinking in America to the naturalists who explored the middle-western frontier between 1740 and 1840. Their inquiries yielded a comprehensive natural history of America and inspired much of the conservation and ecological thinking we associate with later environmental and ecological philosophy. These explorers witnessed one of the great environmental transformations in American history, as the vast forests lying between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River gave way to a landscape of fields, meadows, and pastures. In debating these changes, naturalists translated classical ideas such as the balance of nature and the spiritual unity of all species into an American idiom. This book highlights the contributions made by the generation of natural historians who pioneered the utilitarian, ecological, and aesthetic arguments for protecting or preserving nature in America.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521509985
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Series:
Studies in Environment and History Series
Pages:
330
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Imagination and Nature, 1808 1

Part 1 Forging a Scientific Community

1 "A Country Unknown": Utility and Romance in the Colonial Idea of Nature 17

2 Rambles in Eden 55

3 "A Despairing Curiosity": Creating America's Scientific Academy 94

Part 2 The Natural History of America

4 Power and Purpose in the Geological Record: The Scientific Beginnings of American Romanticism 131

5 Integrated Landscapes: Mountains, Rivers, and Forests in the Balance of Nature 156

6 "A Distant Intercourse": Animal Character and Conservation 183

Part 3 Improvers, Romantics, and the Science of Conservation

7 From Forest to Fruitful Field: Settlement and Improvement in the Western Wilderness 217

8 The Naturalist's Mirror: Popular Science and the Roots of Romanticism 246

9 Challenging the Idea of Improvement 274

Conclusion 308

Index 313

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