Feasted Landscapes: Sustainability in American Topics, Volume 2
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Throughout history, one can make connections to sustainability through the interpretation of a simple three-legged stool. Each leg represents a tenet of sustainability: environmental resilience, economic responsibility, social justice. In order for the stool to be stable, each leg must be the same length; if one or more legs is shorter than the others, the stool will wobble, becoming unstable. This is a familiar scenario throughout history, the Earth's inhabitants taking advantage of the environment and each other for economic gain.
Feasted Landscrapes: Sustainability in American Topics provides excerpts from many sources that illustrate the history of un-sustainability in the New World from the time of colonization through the Civil War and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. A simple example lies in the fur trade, where European colonists traded goods with Native Americans for beaver pelts. Seemingly innocuous on the surface, the trade pattern bolstered the wealth of a few at the expense of entire ecosystems.
The wealth of resources available in the North American continent were carved up and decimated, wreaking havoc on the land and its natural capital. Timber, deer, beavers, water –they all became commodities to be bought and sold with no consideration for the effects in either the future or simply downstream.
According to Ted Steinberg, the good fortunes of a few came at great expense. The new trade mechanisms transformed the landscape of North America and these continue, almost unabated, today.
It was a New World. And we continue to make the same mistakes today.
Unit 5: The Closing of the Frontier and the Expansion of the Industrial Age (1865-1899)
Chapter 1: Report on the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States (1878)
Chapter 2: Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
Chapter 3: The Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
Chapter 4: A Perilous Night on Shasta’s Summit (1888)
Chapter 5: The Johnstown Flood: Small Town Catastrophe (1889)
Chapter 6: People’s Party National Platform (1892)
Chapter 7: The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1893)
Chapter 8: Atlanta Exposition Speech (1895)
Chapter 9: In Re: Ricardo Rodriguez Case, an Excerpt (1897)
Chapter 10: The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899
Unit 6: The Roars of War, Despair and Recovery: U.S. Rise to Global Power
Chapter 1: Of the Faith of the Fathers (1903)
Chapter 2: Twenty Years at Hull-House (1910)
Chapter 3: The Struggle for Social Justice (1912)
Chapter 4: Gary Schools in the Bronx (1915)
Chapter 5: Victory Gardens: Food for War
Chapter 6: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inaugral Address (1933)
Chapter 7: Steven Mintz, Mexican Americans and the Great Depression
Chapter 8: Self-Help, Cooperation and Community Sustainability
Unit 7: Suburbtopia, the Cold Ware, and Civil Rights: Economics Development at Any Cost
Chapter 1: Mendez v. Westminster, 1947
Chapter 2: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
Chapter 3: Suburbanization and Levittown
Chapter 4: John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (1961)
Chapter 5: Rachel Carson Catalyzes the Modern Environmental Movement
Chapter 6: The Wilderness Act of 1964
Chapter 7: Adelante Companeros: The Sanitization Workers’ Struggle in Lubbock, Texas, 1968-1972
Chapter 8: Letter from Steven McIntyre with Texas Rural Legal Aid to Yolanda Romero
Chapter 9: The Migrant’s Prayer
Chapter 10: March of Faith (November 07, 1971)
Unit 8: Road to the New Millennium, 1970 – Present
Chapter 1: We Are Not All Mexicans: The Growth of the Latino Population in Irving, Texas, 1970-2000
Chapter 2: A Double Home Loss? Last Days of Little Sai Gon in Midtown Houston
Chapter 3: Farm to Freedom: In Our Garden, after the War
Chapter 4: Generation Monarch: Pathways of Migration in the 21st Century
Chapter 5: The Volkswagen Scandal and Its Effects Around the Globe