The Indians subsisted off the land in a migratory trend. The Indians in the north relied almost completely on hunting and fishing due to the inhospitable climate. The Indians in the south relied on agriculture for approximately one half to two thirds of their diet (42). The impact of human populations on the local ecosystems was relatively small and consistent because of small, controlled forest burnings, yearly movement of food sources, low population densities, and the use of multi-crop agriculture.
When Indians use the land, they either use it all, or put back what they do not use. The Indians" view of nature before the English arrived was that the landscape was beautiful. The Indians believed that we do not own the land, we protect it. They used the barter system with fellow tribes because they lived without money. Everything was shared.
Europeans had scarce resources before they arrived in America. Upon their arrival, they took what they wanted because the supply was so bounteous. Europeans showed zero respect toward the Indians because they could not understand their way of life. .
Europeans cleared a large percentage of the local forests, and began domesticated animals in order to accommodate the greater crop and livestock for commerce and safety against harsh winters. The expansion of the European population contributed to harboring disease epidemics. The epidemics often wiped out entire villages (86). Ideas of property rights began to surface. There was an eradication of native populations due to the increasingly powerful European population. Natives were forced to work with the social organization of the European system. This included patterns of migration subsistence to smaller areas, and a reduction in animal and food stock.
The human population radically mutated the shape and content of the land. Alone, the land changed organization and behavior for both the Europeans and the Indian populations.