A 4 page overview of the major points presented by this ethnohistorian. Cronan contends that The Native American inhabitants of New England at the point of European colonization viewed the land in a much different manner than did the colonist. They utilized its resources, of course, but they utilized those resources only for the purposes of their own sustenance. The colonists, in contrast, were intent on using the land not just for their own needs but for economic profit. No additional sources are listed.
William Cronans "Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New
England", as its name would imply, offers a detailed examination of the ecology of New England and how that ecology was impacted over time by the Native Americans and the
European colonists that ultimately settled there. This book offers both an excellent history lesson and an unsurpassed environmental treatise. The
land that we would come to call New England had many changes in store for it once the European colonists arrived there. While Native Americans had inhabited the area
for centuries, they had made few large-scale environmental impacts there. The Native Americans viewed the land in a much different manner than did the colonist. They utilized its
resources, of course, but they utilized those resources only for the purposes of their own sustenance. The colonists, in contrast, were intent on using the land not just for
their own needs but for economic profit. The were in search of merchantable commodities, commodities that could be harvested and shipped back to England for profit.
The colonists approached New England from a capitalistic stance, a stance that included detailed assessments of its resources and the potential value of those
resources. They inventoried the preservable resources that were plentiful in the new colonies but a rarity in England, they typically listed fish such as cod which could be preserved
by salting, furs such as beaver for the English clothing industries, sassafras to be used as a medicinal for syphilis, etc. While all of these resources had certain usefulness