In this essay, I am going to detail the foremost differences in which the Native Americans and the early European settlers used the ecosystem of New England. Formally, my thesis is: The natural dissimilarities between the way the Native Americans used the ecosystem of New England and the way that early European settlers used the ecosystem of New England were voluminously attributed, but not limited to, cultural factors, environmental factors, economical factors, and agricultural factors as well. William Cronon has shed light on all of these reasons in his book, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonist, and the Ecology of New England. .
Although Cronon's intent was to delineate the changes that occurred stating ". . . the shift from Indian to European dominance entailed important changes in the ways these peoples organized their lives, but it also involved fundamental reorganizations in the region's plant and animal communities."( Cronon, xiv) as opposed to why the changes occurred , I am confident that I can divulge on the "why" using his book as a resource.
Environment was an integral part of shaping how the Native Americans and the European settlers used the ecosystems of New England. The Europeans arrived in the spring and summer months of New England which gave them a distorted view of how life would carry on in the new world. Cronon stated they had ". . . high expectations of laborless wealth. . ." ( Cronon, 35). This would prove to be a fatal mistake by the colonists as their populations were ravaged when the winter months inevitably arrived. In turn, this lead the Europeans to gathering and storing mass amounts of food for the winter months. Though colonist struggled for some time with surviving the harsh winters Indians were ever aware of the seasonal changes and food shortages that were brought with them and planned accordingly. Around September Indians started preparing for these changes.