ISBN-10:
0674004167
ISBN-13:
9780674004160
Pub. Date:
10/16/2000
Publisher:
Harvard
Common Lands, Common People: The Origins of Conservation in Northern New England / Edition 1

Common Lands, Common People: The Origins of Conservation in Northern New England / Edition 1

by Richard W. JuddRichard W. Judd

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Overview

In this innovative study of the rise of the conservation ethic in northern New England, Richard Judd shows that the movement that eventually took hold throughout America had its roots among the communitarian ethic of countrypeople rather than among urban intellectuals or politicians. Drawing on agricultural journals and archival sources such as legislative petitions, Judd demonstrates that debates over access to and use of forests and water, though couched in utilitarian terms, drew their strength and conviction from deeply held popular notions of properly ordered landscapes and common rights to nature.

Unlike earlier attempts to describe the conservation movement in its historical context, which have often assumed a crude dualism in attitudes toward nature—democracy versus monopoly, amateur versus professional, utilitarian versus aesthete—this study reveals a complex set of motives and inspirations behind the mid-nineteenth-century drive to conserve natural resources. Judd suggests that a more complex set of contending and complementary social forces was at work, including traditional folk values, an emerging science of resource management, and constantly shifting class interests.

Common Lands, Common People tells us that ordinary people, struggling to define and redefine the morality of land and resource use, contributed immensely to America's conservation legacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674004160
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 10/16/2000
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.94(h) x (d)

About the Author

Richard W. Judd is Professor of History, University of Maine.

What People are Saying About This

An important contribution to the history of New England and a new account, and a new kind of account, of conservation. No previous work has attempted such a fine-grained analysis of regional thought and action in the period before conservation became a national political program. It shows, in ways we only suspected before, the connections between local thought and established ideas of common rights and local land use on the one hand and evolving policies that accommodated market values on the other. It will be indispensable for anyone working on land use, conservation, and popular attitudes toward nature in nineteenth century America.

William Cronon

This is one of the most significant studies of American conservation history to appear in the past quarter century. Although it deals with obscure local conflicts over natural resources in remote corners of northern New England roughly a century ago, the controversies it narrates could hardly be more relevant to comparable debates going on today. Anyone interested the past and future of the environmental movement should read this book.
William Cronon, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thomas R. Dunlap

An important contribution to the history of New England and a new account, and a new kind of account, of conservation. No previous work has attempted such a fine-grained analysis of regional thought and action in the period before conservation became a national political program. It shows, in ways we only suspected before, the connections between local thought and established ideas of common rights and local land use on the one hand and evolving policies that accommodated market values on the other. It will be indispensable for anyone working on land use, conservation, and popular attitudes toward nature in nineteenth century America.
Thomas R. Dunlap, Texas A&M University

Customer Reviews