By Michael Lewis
This accumulated quantity of unique essays proposes to handle the country of scholarship at the political, cultural, and highbrow heritage of usa citizens responses to wasteland from first touch to the current. whereas now not bringing a man-made narrative to desert, the amount will assemble competing interpretations of desert in historic context.
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Extra resources for American Wilderness: A New History
As Christians, they agreed that all humans had to have originated from Adam and Eve, but what could explain the undeniably different skin tones and physical appearance of various Europeans, Africans, and Indians? In an age before scientiﬁc racism offered ﬁxed hierarchies of race, European scholars turned to the most logical explanation that would not challenge biblical authority: while all humans lived together in the remote past, as time progressed they moved away from each other and began a process of differentiation.
Along with the interpretations of wilderness that Melanie Perreault described in the previous chapter, the American wilderness offered a place remote from the ‘‘depravations’’ of Europe, where one could, sinless, begin again and build a perfect society according to God’s plan. The English had the greatest success in setting up enduring religious utopias in the wilderness and success as well in implanting in American culture at large ideas about wilderness that would survive the gradual extinction of their original purposes.
Richard Hakluyt (Glasgow, Scotland: University of Glasgow Press, 1904), 8:362; Brereton, A Briefe and True Relation of the Discoverie of the North Part of Virginia, 349. 16. Harriot, A Brief and True Report, 152; Dean Snow and Kim Lanphear, ‘‘European Contact and Indian Depopulation in the Northeast: The Timing of the First Epidemics,’’ Ethnohistory 35:1 (Winter 1988): 28. 17. John Smith, A Map of Virginia, in The Complete Works of Captain John Smith, ed. Philip L. Barbour (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986), 2:111 (hereafter cited as CWJS); Robert Johnson, Nova Britannia, Offering most excellent Fruites by Planting in Virginia, (London, 1609), C2.