By Mark David Spence
Nationwide parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier safeguard a few of this country's such a lot loved desolate tract landscapes. whereas visions of pristine, uninhabited nature resulted in the construction of those parks, additionally they encouraged regulations of Indian elimination. by means of contrasting the local histories of those areas with the hyperlinks among Indian coverage advancements and preservationist efforts, this paintings examines the complicated origins of the nationwide parks and the troubling outcomes of the yank desolate tract perfect. the 1st research to put nationwide park historical past in the context of the early reservation period, it info the ways in which nationwide parks constructed into the most very important arenas of competition among local peoples and non-Indians within the 20th century.
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Extra info for Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks
Perhaps no person better exemplifies this transition in thinking about wilderness and Indians or better demonstrates how new ideas about both were linked to the same historical developments than George Belden. In the early 1850s, while still a teenager, Belden left his home in Ohio for Brownesville, Nebraska, a hamlet of log houses on the banks of the Missouri River. Just two years later, after convincing his family to come with the tide of emigrants descending upon Nebraska and join him in his new home, the young Belden became disenchanted with the changes in this frontier town.
Another important catalyst for the protection of a place like Yosemite stemmed from national embarrassment over the commercialization of Niagara Falls, which inspired a movement not only to preserve certain areas in the West but also to maintain them in as "natural" a condition as possible. "36 Places like Yosemite Valley or Middle Park not only provided an expanded and improved set of national symbols but also offered an opportunity to redeem the mistakes that had occurred at Niagara. 37 A trip west or stories and paintings about western scenes did not simply appeal to a nationalistic passion for "monumental" nature.
In New Hampshire in 1853, for instance, five hundred working men and women petitioned the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company not to cut down a stately elm tree during the construction of an additional mill. 38 The Idea of Wilderness at Midcentary As Americans of various backgrounds expressed a growing concern about the price of industrial progress, many took comfort in the fact that some portions of the precolonial landscape remained undeveloped in the East. In particular, stretches of uncut forest in the Adirondack and Allegheny Mountains attracted a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts from the cities of the eastern seaboard.
Dispossessing the Wilderness: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks by Mark David Spence