1st Edition

Agriculture, Resource Exploitation, and Environmental Change

Edited By Helen Wheatley Copyright 1997

    This volume examines the ecological consequences of European expansion as a result of land use and resource exploitation. These environmental transformations could be as dramatic as the last Ice Age, but scholars have only begun to take full measure of the changes. The articles presented here provide a map of some of the more promising directions of historical research. Major themes include biological exchange, agriculture, extraction of forest and animal resources, interactions between indigenous and European methods of exploitation, and European approaches to regulation and conservation. A useful corrective to the frontier image of Europeans conquering the wilderness, this volume provides a rich picture of the diversity of European interests and the sometimes unexpected consequences of their approaches to the land.

    Contents: Introduction; Biological exchange: Diffusion of mesoAmerican food complex to southeastern Europe, Jean Andrews; The rise of maize as a major crop plant in the Philippines, J. E. Spencer; Landscape, system, and identity in the post-conquest Andes, Daniel W. Gade; Bison ecology and bison diplomacy: the southern plains from 1800-1850, Dan Flores; Environmental change and social change in the Valle del Mezquital, Mexico, 1521-1600, Elinor G. K. Melville; Indigenous and colonial land-use systems in Indo-oceanian savannas: the case of New Caledonia, Jacques Barrau; Exploitation: Landscape of conquest: frontier water alienation and Khoikhoi strategies of survival, 1652-1780, Leonard Guelke and Robert Shell; Fuelwood in colonial Brazil: the economic consequences of fuel depletion for the Bahian Recôncavo, 1549-1820, Shawn W. Miller; Ax or plow? Significant colonial landscape alteration rates in the Maryland and Virginia tidewater, David O. Percy; Human influences on the pine and laurel forests of the Canary Islands, James J. Parsons; From hands to tutors: African expertise in the South Carolina rice economy, Judith A. Carney; Environmental change in colonial New Mexico, Robert MacCameron; Conservation: Saw several finners but no whales: the Greenland Right Whale (Bowhead) - an assessment of the biological basis of the northern whale fishery during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, Chelsey W. Sanger; Some conservation schemes of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1821-50: an examination of the problems of resource management in the fur trade, Arthur J. Ray; Forest management and exploitation in colonial Java, 1677-1897, Peter Boomgaard; Conserving Eden: (the European) East India companies and their environmental policies on St. Helena, Mauritius and in western India, 1660-1854, Richard Grove; Index.


    Helen Wheatley

    'European and Non-European Societies and Christianity and Missions along with the other volumes in An Expanding World should become a standard collection for any academic library. The invaluable bibliography, the variety of themes, and the historical problems will engage students of all levels, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral, in many aspects of early modern and world history for years to come.' Sixteenth Century Journal, Vol. XXX, No. 1