Date of Award

8-7-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

History

Department

History

Major Professor

Wilson, Jeffrey K.

Second Advisor

Billings, Warren

Third Advisor

Bodet, Gerald

Abstract

Environmental historians usually discuss American colonists as if they were all the same. Thus, the Puritan communities that grew rapidly after John Winthrop's arrival in 1630 often overshadow the earlier Separatist colony at Plymouth, which leads to the assumption that all settlers acted in similar ways with regard to land use and the environment. By analyzing Bradford and Winthrop, it becomes possible to see a different picture of colonization in New England. It becomes evident that deforestation happened over time, and in spite of early resistance. It is also clear that colonial settlers viewed resources in different ways. The authorities strictly regulated land use and ownership, but there were fewer restrictions on exportable resources like fur and later timber. Population change and the growth of a proto-capitalist market in the post-1630 Puritan communities as well as a gradual shift from communalism to individualism led to deforestation in New England.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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