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Changes in the Land by William Cronon

            William Cronon's book Changes in the Land is a very detailed and informative explanation of the cultural and environmental shifts that North America underwent with the European colonization. Reading through this book allows you to see not only how America has become the nation she is today ecologically but it also shows the ecological state of New England during Native American inhabitation and the radical changes that were caused by the European way of life. The collision between the two cultures and ways of life ultimately resulted a noticeable change within the environment. .
             When the people of Europe first landed in New England they initially were intimidated by the sheer wilderness. They had never really encountered landscape they had not been "domesticated," where as the Native Americans thrived in such a land. The Native Americans saw their lives in the land as symbiotic relationship meaning that they respected their environment and the laws of nature in all regards. On the other end of the spectrum the Europeans had mindset of dominion over the land in that they could control and rule the land. Even though the land intimidated them they saw the great potential of the land from a very Western mindset. They knew with work they could yield crops and hunt the livestock for their furs and make a profit. However when the Europeans looked at the Indians and how they lived their lives they were confused. "Many European visitors were struck by what seemed to them the poverty of Indians who lived in the midst of a landscape endowed so astonishingly with abundance" (Cronon 33). The Europeans thought that the Native Americans were not taking advantage of the land they had. "Here was a riddle: how could a land be so rich and its people be so poor?" (Cronon 33).
             The Indians lived their life with the mindset of working only for what they needed to survive. Nothing was motivated by profit.

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