Presentation on theme: "Changes in the Land, Chapter 4 ISS 310: People and Environment Spring 2002 Prof. Alan Rudy 1/22/02."— Presentation transcript:
Changes in the Land, Chapter 4 ISS 310: People and Environment Spring 2002 Prof. Alan Rudy 1/22/02
Property, Wealth and Mobility n “The need for diversity and mobility led New England Indians to avoid acquiring much surplus property, confident as they were that their mobility and skill would supply any need that arose.” (54) n KEY: Cronon is interested in COMPARISON more than JUDGEMENT.
KEY TERMS: n How does Cronon use the terms: u Labor? u Improvement? u Usufruct? u Sovereignty? u Property? F Alienated Property?
Key point - ethnocentrism n Europeans (and remember these were NOT poor immigrants – neither indentured servants nor slaves wrote the accounts Cronon uses) saw “Indian poverty as the result of Indian waste: underused land, underused natural abundance, underused human labor,” (56) and especially underused MALE labor. n Bible Quote on page 73.
Meaning for Today’s World: n The ideas of improvement and the inefficient, wasteful (non-)use of resources underlie our whole economy and federal natural resource management system. u USDA F Dept. of Agriculture F Dept. of Forestry -- Multiple Use u Dept. of Interior F National Parks F Bureau of Land Management -- Multiple Use F Bureau of Reclamation u Dept. of Defense F US Army Corps of Engineers -- Don’t waste a drop
Social Relations w/ Nature and Others n Key: It is not just nature that is managed for efficiency and against waste, the same is true of social programs -- witness welfare, mass transit and MSU. n “most English colonists displayed a remarkable indifference to what the Indians themselves thought” about Indian rights of land tenure. (58) n This was historically also true of International Development programs during the Cold War.
PROPERTY: n “Unless the people I live with recognize that I own something and so give me certain claims over it, I do not possess it in any meaningful sense….” n “To define property is thus to represent boundaries between people; equally, it is to articulate at least one set of conscious ecological boundaries between people and things.” (58) n 5 minute writing assignment u Property for the Indians meant ______ because ______. u Property for the Colonist meant ______ because ______.
NATURAL vs. SOCIAL PROPERTY RIGHTS n NATURAL PROPERTY RIGHTS to land lay in the kinds of relationships which centered around common holdings and use. n CIVIL and PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS coevolve (in the European schema) with agriculture, the state, technological improvement and trade. n HOBBES, LOCKE, ROUSSEAU and THE STATE OF NATURE.
Individual Ownership vs. Collective Sovereignty I n Indians u Individual property defined by the community within which they lived. u Community’s territory defined by relations with other communities. u But territorial uses, and rights to them, varied with changing seasons and social moves!
Individual Ownership vs. Collective Sovereignty II n Indians u Sachem power largely via social relations and reciprocal gift exchange. u Also, importantly, there were elaborate inter-community kin networks! u Sachem’s “owned” land “less as personal real estate than as symbolic possession of a whole people.” (60)
Individual Ownership vs. Collective Sovereignty III n Colonists u Individual property defined by the community within which they lived -- importance of where they came from in England!! u Community’s territory defined by grant from King. u Territorial rights, and uses did not vary. n Indians and Colonists u Indians could contract with many Englishmen to share use of an area -- but Englishmen thought that meant exclusive use. u In section, why is a bird a fish and some deer are fish but winter moose and beavers are not fish? (63-64)
What This Means: n For Indians: u Hunting, planting, gathering and fishing have different spatial and temporal usufruct rights -- were constantly being renegotiated. u Place names were not so much nouns as verbs -- about what could be done not who owned it. n Key Quote on page 67 and another 68. n ISSUE u Political Negotiations over Sovereignty u Economic Transactions over Property.
Finally: n “Conceptions of land tenure mimicked systems of ecological use.” (72) n Private property does not mean you can do with it what you will, only that you can keep others from doing legal things on/with it. n Property becomes separated from its natural qualities, from its value in use, from its value in exchange. n It becomes an abstract thing that must be catalogues and documented.
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