The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History

By Carolyn Merchant | Go to book overview

1
The American Environment and
Native-European Encounters,
1000–1875

The North American environment contains rich natural resources that, over time, have supported a succession of modes of living on the land. A core topic in environmental history is how different peoples at different times have used, perceived, managed, and conserved their environments. Native Americans developed several forms of land use appropriate to the resources of different regions of the United States. This chapter compares three patterns of Native American subsistence and the processes by which European settlers colonized particular North American landscapes: southwestern horticulture; northeastern hunting and gathering; and the Great Plains buffalo and horse cultures.


The Physical Environment and Natural Resources

The physical environment that constitutes the present United States can be characterized in terms of its area, location, climate, rainfall, and topography. Its total area is approximately 3.6 million square miles. The 48 contiguous states extend from the 24th parallel at the tip of Florida to the 49th parallel at their northern border with Canada, falling between 66 and 125 degrees west longitude. Alaska lies between 54 and 72 degrees north latitude and 130 degrees east longitude, with the westernmost point of the Aleutian Islands being in the Eastern Hemisphere at 172 degrees east longitude. The tropical Hawaiian Islands are situated between 19 and 25 north latitude and 155 and 176 west longitude.

The climate of the 48 mainland states is temperate, having cold winters and hot summers. The states east of the 100th meridian are characterized as humid, with 20–60 inches on average of annual rainfall distributed throughout the year; those west of the 100th meridian have an average between 5 and 20 inches, distributed mainly in the winter months. Topographically, the country extends westward from the Atlantic coastal plain at

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 448

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.