- List of Contributors
- Introduction: A New Environmental History
- Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History
- Animals and the Intimacy of History
- Beyond Virgin Soils: Disease as Environmental History
- Seas of Grass: Grasslands in World Environmental History
- New Patterns in Old Places: Forest History for the Global Present
- The Tropics: A Brief History of an Environmental Imaginary
- And All Was Light?—Science and Environmental History
- Toward an Environmental History of Technology
- New Chemical Bodies: Synthetic Chemicals, Regulation, and Human Health
- Rethinking American Exceptionalism: Toward a Transnational History of National Parks, Wilderness, and Protected Areas
- Restoration and the Search for Counter-Narratives
- Region, Scenery, and Power: Cultural Landscapes in Environmental History
- A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians
- Owning Nature: Toward an Environmental History of Private Property
- Work, Nature, and History: A Single Question, that Once Moved Like Light
- The Nature of Desire: Consumption in Environmental History
- Law and the Environment
- Confluences of Nature and Culture: Cities in Environmental History
- Race and Ethnicity in Environmental History
- Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History
- Conquest to Convalescence: Nature and Nation in United States History
- Boundless Nature: Borders and the Environment in North America and Beyond
- Crossing Boundaries: The Environment in International Relations
- The Politics of Nature
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the complex relationship between nature and nation in American history. It first considers Philadelphia physician John Kearsley Mitchell’s juxtaposed placement of Niagara Falls and George Washington as great and unable to be described. It then turns to a discussion of the environmental history of the United States, with emphasis on how nation, nationalism, and nationhood are linked to environmental realities and environmental perspectives. It also cites examples of scholarly works, including Perry Miller’s Errand into the Wilderness and Nature’s Nation.
William Deverell is Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West and Professor of History at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past (2005) and co-editor of the Blackwell-Wiley Companion to California (2008) and the Blackwell-Wiley Companion to Los Angeles (2010).
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