Saturday, July 27, 2019
Paper on changes on the land Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words
Paper on changes on the land - Essay Example This is where Cronon starts to heavily contrast Indians and settlers. The Indians made it a point to move from location to location as a form of survival. Cronon says, Ã¢â¬Å"To take advantage of their landÃ¢â¬â¢s diversity, Indian villages had to be mobileÃ¢â¬ (54). Colonists disagreed with this practice because it constituted change, one that they were unfamiliar with and it led to criticism. They wished to mirror their settlements from the old world in New England by remaining in one place and only traveling village-to-village if need-be. Although, the Indians did not suffer from hunger, the settlers disapproved of their lifestyle as it reminded them of the poor people in England: Ã¢â¬Å"To those who compared Massachusetts Indians to English beggars, Morton replied, Ã¢â¬ËIf our beggars of England should, with so much easy as they, furnish themselves with foode at all seasons, there would not be so many starved in the streetsÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬ (55). They saw Indians as starving people despite the truth. Cronon describes settlers as saying, Ã¢â¬Å"Indian poverty was the result of Indian waste: underused land, underused natural abundance, underused human laborÃ¢â¬ (56). Since the Indians Ã¢â¬Å"failedÃ¢â¬ to utilize all of the land, the colonists considered it to be wasteful. This is ironic because the settlersÃ¢â¬â¢ practice of hoarding every thing affected the ecological system most negatively because once they took it all, they did not give back; or at least not in the proper way. The settlerÃ¢â¬â¢s political agenda in remaining bound to the land imposed an imbalance of nature and the land. Instead of taking just a little here and there, moving on, then returning later once the land has been replenished like the Indians, the colonists robbed the land of its resources. They cut down trees, uprooted plant-life and later, introduced agriculture without the means to accurately replenish the soil. It also brought up the question of property lines. T his was a concept that the IndianÃ¢â¬â¢s did not enforce because they did not need to when moving as often as they did. Land boundaries reinforced the need for property rights given to individuals in a New England colony. This also affected social wealth and trade. The act of taking a forest and what that meant in relation to the settlers and the land was important because it characterized the difference between ownership and items free-for-the-taking. For example, trees as they are rooted in the forest, untouched by man, are considered lacking ownership. The actual act of ownership came into play when the trees were sawed down and made to form ships and homes. Property as defined as Ã¢â¬Å"Ã¢â¬ ¦to represent boundaries between people; equally, it is to articulate at least one set of conscious ecological boundaries between people and thingsÃ¢â¬ (58). English settlers believed in possession rather than a community pool of property. Where the Indians differ is how they attribute d ownership. Cronon says, Ã¢â¬Å"What the Indians owned - or, more precisely, what their villages gave them claim to - was not the land but the things that were on the land during the various seasons of the yearÃ¢â¬ (65). The Indians had to abide by this over what the settlers believed because they frequently moved across the land as an act of continued existence. The colonists, on the other hand, prone to mimic British society, desired to remain in one spot on the land: Ã¢â¬Å"