Environmental Conservation 1235 2/15/10 Lecture Eight: The Late 1880s Building and Industrial Nation Prior to Civil War, US was essentially agrarian 7 out of 10 ppl lived on small farms or in small rural towns By 1910, 50 cities have population over 100,000 Immigration and Urbanization From 1840-1890, 14 million immigrants arrived Most from Eastern Europe Treated poorly and put to work in the cities Resulted in a need to develop city infrastructures quickly Rapid scientific advances in materials and engineering No consideration for environment Point-source pollution was normal Urban Detatchment Consumerism flourished in the cities But promoted detatchment Beef steak likely traveled 100s of miles to the grocery Furniture was sold to people who would never see the forest from which it originated Changing Nature of Work and Life Industrial Revolution changed the role of a person Valued efficiency and mechanization People no longer made goods They operated machines that made goods Henry Ford and the assembly line Life became Repetitious No seasonality or change in work life Further distanced from nature Industrial Farming Industrial Revolution changed farming too New fertilizers form factories made specialization possible No longer needed manure for fertilizer Ranchers and farmers became separated New farm machines made the land just another raw material to be used Yields increased Further Land Modifications Industrial advances allowed irrigation Expanded farming to arid areas Dredges and pumps allowed large-scale conversion of wetlands Florida Everglades draining started 1883 Estimated 90% of wading bird individuals eventually lost Still a relic today, even through partially a national park Plowing the Prairies Under US Bureau of Soils in 1909 ?the soil is the one indestructible, immutable asset that the nation possesses. It is the one resource that cannot be exhausted; that cannot be used up.? When Oklahoma opened to while settlement Some 40 million acres converted to wheat Set the stage for Great Dust Bowl of 1930s Social Darwinism British Thinker Herbert Spencer (1829-1903) Used the term Social Darwinism to describe the struggle of people toward economic stability through business Justified the use of nature to go ahead Competition was good Economic growth, progress, and profit were the signs of a healthy society Conquest of nature was America?s crowning achievement Gospel of Success If Social Darwinism didn?t set well with your religious inclinations Churches offered the popular gospel of success John D Rockefeller (1839-1937) taught Sunday school Men who run big companies are doing the godly thing and are rewarded with divine blessings Consumerism and Profit Twin pillars of America?s wealth and power Nature was simply raw materials to fuel the economy Defined as a commodity, a wooden table was more beautiful and valuable than a tree Overconsumption Followed Wood for fuel was scarce by 1880s Switch to coal Supported beliefs that were always new resources to extract from nature what was needed Minerals extracted at an unprecedented rate Non renewable resources No thought to sustainability Black Gold First oil wells established in 1859 Edwin drake in Titusville, Penn Once whale oil was scarce in the 1850s Kerosene replaced as primary lamp and head oil By 1900, 85% of refined crude oil used to light and heat building and homes Scarce Wildlife Many wildlife species are essentially gone from the east coast Bison dwindling Beaver rare Beer very rare Passenger pigeon on course for extinction More Voices for Nature George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882) Vermont ? native Wrote ?Man and Nature? (1864) First definition of basic principles of conversation Carl Schurz (1829-1906) US Secretary of the Interior European born Lobbied for the preservation of federally owned forests Major John Wesley Powell Explored the Colorado and Grand Canyon in the 1870s Emerging Wilderness Myth Reports of the awesome power of nature With the developing National Park system Led to a desire by urban nature as a tourist Camping and park visitation boomed Set the stage for the conservation movement
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