Changes in the Land

1538 words 7 pages
Reading Worksheet
William Cronon, Changes in the Land

History 2110


1. How did the Indians occupy the land?
The northern Indians occupied the land much differently from those who lived in the south. The land was drier in the north, and the soil not as fertile, so agriculture was not a main source of subsistence. All Indians relied greatly on mobility throughout the seasons for survival. Those in the south were able to stay in one place for longer however because of the fertility of the soil and its ability to sustain agricultural needs. The women were mostly in charge of these needs, along with starting fires, making mats for wigwams, and caring for children. The fires, which were also more popular in the south,
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4. How did the Europeans use the land they occupied?
The Europeans settle the land they occupy and want to use the land fully. They believe that not using and taking advantage of every natural resource in sight is not an improvement. They want to collect these resources to be bought and sold as commodities. They believe in an agricultural and market society where food is planted and grown, goods are bought and sold, and animals are raised domestically.


1. In what ways did the European Colonists view natural resources as commodities? They view these resources as items to be bought and sold. Identify a few, and explain their value.

a. Fish for salting

b. Furs for clothing

c. Timber for ships

d. Sassafras for curing syphilis

2. How did the Europeans’ commodification (viewing natural resources as items to be bought and sold) of the environment influence their interactions with the Indians?
What could be considered and was considered a ‘merchantable commodity’ in America was found scarcely in Europe. So naturally, the Europeans wanted to extract as many of these resources as they can for a profit. Furthermore, Indians are burning forests and depleting some of these profits causing tension. The English don’t


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