Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860 (Studies in Environment and History)
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Green Imperialism is the first book to document the origins and early history of environmentalism, concentrating especially on its hitherto unexplained colonial and global aspects. It highlights the significance of Utopian, Physiocratic, and medical thinking in the history of environmentalist ideas. The book shows how the new critique of the colonial impact on the environment depended on the emergence of a coterie of professional scientists, and demonstrates both the importance of the oceanic island "Eden" as a vehicle for new conceptions of nature and the significance of colonial island environments in stimulating conservationist notions.
it, that had the potentiality to be far more universal in symbolic application and explanatory power than the particularist critiques of the human impact on the environment found in Theophrastus or Pliny. As we shall see, the idea of the botanical garden as a symbolic location for the re-creation of Paradise became central to the changing visions of nature that would later accompany the flowering of the Renaissance. The structuring of natural knowledge implicit in the systemics of the botanical
basta 8, ft/9/10. For a wider discussion of these matters, see F. C. Lane, Venetian ships, shipbuilders and the Renaissance, Baltimore, 1934. 25 The phenomenon of peasant opposition to imperial forest policy was one that came to be repeated over and over again in the context of much later colonial conservation policy, espe cially in India and Africa. See Grove, ‘Colonial conservation, ecological hegemony and popular resistance’. coast. These new demands imposed considerable penalties on
temperate Europe in order to construct and maintain ships of the line of increasing size and number. These new kinds of pressures met with very different kinds of responses on the part of the French and the British. The fact that the British were able to utilise timber sources outside the country with relative ease, especially in the American colonies, made less pressing a situation which had at first seemed urgent. By the end of the eighteenth century this had actually led to a remarkably
state forest conservancy.100 Most of the Restoration proposals to ensure further timber supplies ran into the minefield of counter-claims between private property and common rights. The fate of the Wood and Timber Preservation Bill of 1674 served as an indicator of the strength of this kind of political obstacle.101 Riots in the Forest of Dean in 1695-6 against further regulation served to emphasise this problem and make government even more reluctant to act decisively. This was despite
islands) is not considered desirable by the writer. It is perhaps not sur prising that remarks such as this were made in the context of Mexican de forestation, as early European settler degradation of the pastures and forests of Central America had been extensively documented and commented upon by contemporaries. What is more noteworthy in Esquivel’s text is the linkage made between environmental disturbance and social disruption.3 Esquivel does not, however, see European settlement as posing a