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Lecture

HIST 2250 Unit 2 Readings.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 2250
Professor
Mary Ann Cyphers- Reiche
Semester
Winter

Description
Hughes  Deforestation, Overgrazing and Erosion Consumption of Wood - Wood & charcoal primary fuel, building material fundamental in trade (shipbuilding) - Govts encouraged timber trade via privileges /tax incentive - Attempts to secure wood supplies for warships a major role in diplomacy and warfare, deliberate destruction of forests common war tactic - For war machinery& other military purposes, soldiers sent to collect wood for fortifications and fuel Methods and Tech of the Timber Industry trees cut, branches lopped off, logs pulled by animals, cut into transportable sizes, some carried over water, logs floated to their destination Other Causes of Forest Removal Clearing for Agri - Some farms reserved sections as woodlots and didn’t completely clear all the trees - Trees cut/uprooted, remove useful parts, leftovers burnt to ashes& plowed on field as fertilizer - Tress that grew naturally a sign of what plants would do well in that area Overgrazing: pastoralism didn’t destroy high forests but made permanent what destruction went before Fire: pastoralism – fire to clear brush and forests, wildfires – only fought if threatened settlements The Process of Deforestation - Exploitation began near centres of demand (ex. cities, mining districts) proceeded in isolated areas as time went th on – more reachable forests plundered first, by 5 cent BC Athens was mostly bare - In N Greece – forests survived best in settled times, in invasions peasants moved to refuge areas in mountains and cleared forests and planted fields – when times better they moved to richer plains (allowing higher elevation forests to recover) Effects of Deforestation (hillside erosion, flooding, interfere w water supply, siltation of lowlands& coastlines) Disruption of the Water Supply & Flooding: forests regulate runoff of ppt (prevent floods & supply to streams) Erosion and Siltation - Rains washed away unprotected earth, destroyed uplands that might have regrown - Silt/sand/gravel that reddened the rivers deposited at their mouths along the shores of the Mediterranean sea, sediments deposited in lower areas, localized process o Gradually altered coastlines, new wetlands bred malarial mosquitoes (good for animals tho) Climate: local climates (microclimates) changed when forests removed – more arid and windy Malaria: mosquitoes bred in marshes caused by runoff (unaware cause malaria), attempts at draining marshes Effects on the Economy: deforestation inflated the price of wood (sources decreased and had to be imported farther) & transportation, caused a shift in building materials to brick and marble Military Effects: timber a major factor determining naval strategy, strategies of warfare and diplomacy often aimed at obtaining supplies of timber and other forest products, get forests by conquering them Forest Management and Conservation Private Effects: agri included some forestry, want some forest on land, cultivated trees added property value Public Efforts - Sovereign power had ownership of unoccupied forestland w/i territory, regulate forest product trade - Encouraged private exploitation of forests- leased rights to cut trees on public land (source of revenue) - Anyone could cut timber & keep the cleared land as their own property - Sometimes regulated private land to encourage conservation - Public forestlands existed – granted to ppl/communities, some to govt, govt encouraged tree planting Conclusion - Human caused enviro changes a cause of the decline of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations – creating stark conditions for the early Medieval centuries - 4 factors determining how society relates to nature& how sustainable that relship is (Greeks/Romans) 1) Attitudes contained in the prevailing ethos of a society has an effect on its actions o Nature religious (as a realm of the gods) – took care w hunting& agri (some ecological wisdom) o Greece: economic self-interest / Rome: pragmatism, then Christian (nature in care of humans) 2) Way relate to nature shaped by the knowledge of nature they possess (ex. trial& error) – many Christians saw study of physical phenomena as a waste b/c the material world is temporary 3) Society can find a sustainable balance w nature only if it possesses an appropriate tech (admired tech advances were most harmful to enviro) 4) Society control& direct its effects on the enviro if its organized to be able to encourage/compel its members to act a certain way (entails sacrifice) – Romans had choice in following Impact of Warfare on the Natural World: A Historical Summary  Richard P. Tucker Introduction: Major Themes - Acceleration of the capacity of states to inflict violence - Acceleration of destructive capacity of military tech, and its demands on natural resources for the production and use of weapons o Recognize military aspects of societies in peacetime - Warfare (& its link w changes in natural world) must be understood in terms of systematic links to broader trends in human history - Counter-theme: recognize in some circumstances warfare has reduced human pressure on nature, allowing other species to flourish (at least temporarily) o Natural resource depletion during war also led to govts intensifying systems of resource management & protection (espesh for resources used in military) - Enviro impacts of war always specific to the characteristics of particular ecosystems - Enviro impacts of warfare rather than the ecological causes/settings of battle – present back through the millennia to early human times when nature shaped human life far more than humans were able to reshape nature Hunter-Gatherer and Sedentary Farming Cultures - Tribal warfare highly localized & tools had limited destructive power - Borders fought over for control of food & other resources, shifts in control of territory often - Attackers raid field& food supplies (get resources & cripple foes) = high mortality rates - In “buffer zones” where uninhabited, nature flourished - Tool w great destructive power = fire  early ecological impact on semi-arid regions Urban Civilizations with State Systems - More complex political/military orgs, better tech enabling large-scale warfare & greater impacts on nature - Neolithic Era of settled agri (10 thousand yrs ago) in the Near East - Large scale human labour = perennial agri via irrigation canals - Siltation and water logging issues - Enemy’s irrigation systems often target - Late 1200s Mongol conquered many civilizations: wipe out/enslave popns, plundered, fail in popn/income/state revenue – some rulers reconstructed o Iraq massacred popn of Baghdad- civil govt breakdown, lost central position in Islamic world, collapse of irrigation (depended on for prosperity), continued centuries after - 2500 yrs ago ecological changes from warfare clear in N/E Mediterranean basin – wood for weapons and defence - Burn enemies forests and pillage their farmlands – rural ppl fled to forests and created new farmland (damaging the fragile woodlands) - Naval warfare also damaged – lumber ports grew at mouths of rivers where ships were built, cleared forested watersheds upriver to meet shipyards needs, timber supplies low so move to distant sources - Rise of Roman Empire  dramatic transformation on Mediterranean and European landscaped o Timber supplies for navy=deforestation, - Along Rhine and Danube- military fortifications, led to domestication of entire landscapes - Urban centres declined and rural medieval Europe emerged – popns fell and agri lands reverted to secondary woodlands until a peaceable era of popn growth and forest clearances ushered in the High Middle Ages in the 12 cent - Major enviro impacts of organized violence revolved around fortification and siege warfare – social hierarchies important in shaping warfare’s enviro impact - Lords defended their headquarters by building fortifications – devouring woods and croplands - Peasants endured raids on food and livestock - Peasant levies impressed byt heir lords swept across farms and woodlands taking away subsistence from
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