US Environmental History

The following terms / ideas need to be placed in your understanding / memory so they can be commonly used throughout this course.

agricultural revolution

environmental movement

E.P.A.

frontier environmental worldview

hunter-gatherers

industrial revolution

information and
globalization revolution

multiple use

shifting cultivation

slash-and-burn cultivation

spaceship Earth worldview

sustainable cultivation

1. Describe the changes that generally occur during a cultural revolution. Name the shift that the author of your text proposes we are currently undergoing.

2. Briefly describe hunter-gatherer societies, focusing on division of labor and power, the relationship of humans to nature, the impact of their societies on the environment, their use of energy and material resources, and population size.

3. Describe early forms of agriculture. Describe changes that occurred in human population distribution, employment, relationships between societies, environmental impacts on energy and material resources, and the Earth’s carrying capacity as the Agricultural Revolution unfolded.

4. Briefly describe the Industrial Revolution, focusing on changes in energy consumption. Describe relationships between energy consumption and the production and consumption of material goods. List the benefits that are distributed to most citizens of industrial societies.

5. Compare hunter-gatherer societies, agricultural societies, and industrial societies, focusing on division of labor and power, the relationship of population to food supply, the relationship of humans to nature, the use of resources (energy and materials) per person, and the environmental impacts. Project how a sustainable-earth society would fit into this analysis.

6. Analyze the amount of time over the course of history that has been used to bring about cultural changes. Include a comparison of the length of time to bring about the Agricultural Revolution and the length of time to bring about the Industrial Revolution. Project an amount of time to bring about a cultural change to an earth-wise society. Suggest modern capabilities that might enable this change to occur.

7. Describe each era of U.S. environmental history, noting the contributions of important people, turning points, and major pieces of environmental legislation.