The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World

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University of California Press, May 15, 2003 - History - 682 pages
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"The Unending Frontier brings into focus the staggering environmental changes that came with the creation of the early modern world economy. John Richards assembles material from all around the world into a crisp and coherent picture of the meaning of global markets for the biosphere in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. This is a work of the first importance for environmental history, for economic history, and for world history."—John R. McNeill, author of Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World

"A landmark book. Richards moves deftly among various ways of thinking about the early modern environment—national case studies, studies of particular industries, and reflections on increasing global interconnections—so that we get not only a wealth of important data and stories, but multiple perspectives on the topic as a whole. Both the breadth and the depth of the project are inspiring: people will learn new things about environmental change, even in their regions of specialization. But the biggest payoff is in the way Richards weaves environmental change into more familiar early modern stories of global trade, colonialism, technological change, and, above all, state formation. None of these topics will ever look quite the same again."—Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
 

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Contents

LIST OF MAPS
ix
LIST OF TABLES
xi
PREFACE
xi
Introduction
1
The Early Modern World
17
Climate and Early Modern World Environmental History
58
Pioneer Settlement on Taiwan
89
Internal Frontiers and Intensified Land Use in China
112
The Columbian Exchange The West Indies
309
Ranching Mining and Settlement Frontiers in Colonial Mexico
334
Sugar and Cattle in Portuguese Brazil
377
Landscapes of Sugar in the Antilles
412
Furs and Deerskins in Eastern North America
463
The Hunt for Furs in Siberia
517
Cod and the New World Fisheries
547
Whales and Walruses in the Northern Oceans
574

Ecological Strategies in Tokugawa Japan
148
Landscape Change and Energy Transformation in the British Isles
193
Frontier Settlement in Russia
242
Wildlife and Livestock in South Africa
274
Conclusion
617
BIBLIOGRAPHY
623
INDEX
661
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

John F. Richards is Professor of History at Duke University. He is the author of The Mughal Empire (1993) and Mughal Administration in Golconda (1975) and the editor of Land, Property and the Environment (2001). He is coeditor of World Deforestation in the Twentieth Century (1988) and Global Deforestation and the Nineteenth-Century World Economy (1983).

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