Albert Bierstadt, Yosemite Valley deer, Rocky Mountain School.
1. what land, nature, and alteration mean in terms of America and land realism.
2. the motives for a profound transformation in attitudes.
3. the "fountainhead" of the Conservation Movement -- George Perkins Marsh, Man and Nature (1864).
influence of land
state of savagery ( he misread this )
the bridge, the garden, the plowed field, the city,
"the civilization has some prospect of endurance. "
"to reduce it to an orderly pattern for use."
"What is a beautiful city with bad drains, or a fine concrete highway in a barren landscape?"
"At worst, it still left the landscape clear; at its best, it gave the land comeliness."
"which railroads nosed with grime."
"Rivers filled with refuse, inimical to fish and vegetation, flowed past cities covered wit soot, which added to industrial pollution of the streams by thus wasting, instead of utilizing for fertilizer, their human excrement."
''Mountain sides, first denuded of trees, lost their soil to the local torrents of spring that captured the run-off of the winter snows, now no longer retained and slowly seeping into the soil."
"But this assault on the landscape was not confined to the industrial city: a parallel ruin went on in the countryside."
Millions of acres of arable land were thrown open..."
New settlers, "their impulse was to pluck ravenously..."
"single-crop farming ...a method unsound economically..."
"depletion of the soil, the extirpation of wild life, the upsetting of the natural balance of organisms."
"Nathaniel Shaler tells in his autobiography how as late as the middle nineteenth century in Kentucky there was no systematic rotation or manuring, while as a result of timber-mining one half of the arable soil of Northern Kentucky became unremunerative to plough agriculture."
"Land-hunger is one thing, and love of the soil is another. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that it was only in the Brown Decades that the second attitude began to replace the first."
"The concern for the soil of America..."
"one of the genuine marks"
"bad farming and general desecration of wilderness"
"On the contrary, the new sense of land was scientific and realistic."
Far western, high plains where settlement patterns give way to arid lands.
Geographical regeneration, Marsh's call for investing in restoring the water and landscape.
Urban parks, drainage, and sanitation, Frederick Law Olmsted Sr.
Regional plan for the Arid Regions, John Wesley Powell's vision of the far west.
The renewal of agricultural lands, was the scientifically informed vision of Nathaniel Shaler.
The necessity of preserving grand scenery, was at once the transcendent and scientific realization of John Muir and the men and women who founded the Sierra club in 1892.
W. J. McGee saw the role of comprehensive river management.
Gifford Pinchot saw the importance of sustained yield forestry as a government duty.
Theodore Roosevelt saw in wildlife the embodiment of the national character.
George Perkins Marsh, therefore was the "fountainhead of the Conservation movement," according to Mumford.
Lewis Mumford wrote Technics and Civilization in 1934.
"To understand the dominating role played by technics in modern civilization….one must explain the culture that was ready to use them and profit by them so extensively."
The Croton Aqueduct at the Harlem River from
The Croton Aqueduct was completed in 1842, and was one of the first successful large-scale engineering projects in the United States. The Croton aqueduct brought water to Manhattan from the Croton River Dam, forty miles away. It involved the building of a dam, 6 tunnels, 114 culverts, bridges over several valleys, and a major bridge over the Harlem river. The advantage of the New York system is that the water has such a good head that no further power is needed for distribution.
The Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, Mo.
In light of the international significance of Mumford's writings, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has designated an impressive auditorium as the Lewis Mumford Room. The general public is allowed to attend lectures and symposia held in this room on the sixth floor of the library's newest structure, the James Madison Memorial Building.
revised: January 18, 2015 from October 8, 2007.