Essay Sample on Environmental History: Natural Resources, Gender, Race, and Class

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1027 Words
Date:  2023-01-25


Environmental history refers to how human beings interact with the world over time. Environmental history emerged out of the ecological movement that took place in 1970s in the United States of America (Riebsame Stanley, and Thomas 11). The document focuses on natural resource management and the historical and cultural relationships between ecosystems and humanity. The paper outlines how natural resources intersect with gender, culture, race, and class. Also, the document explains about the environmental issue of natural resources, learning and focuses on indigenous Native Americans.

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Environmental history was founded based on the issues of conservation and involved scientific and social history and deals with populations and cities and sustainable development. Historical ecology involves research that recognizes the interactions between individuals and their environment. Natural resources refer to materials that are acquired from the earth which people use to meet their needs. There are two types of natural resources in the US that include renewable and non-renewable resources. The indigenous American people have a history of protecting their natural resources such as land, water, and natural forests. The indigenous Native Americans have struggled over the years over access and control to natural resources such as land and sea.

Historical and Contemporary Analysis

The Native Americans have had a historical fight on the acquisition of land against other tribes such as American Indians, Latins, and Asian immigrants. Essential natural resources matters were often unique and complicated since historical policies opened up reservations and land for non-Indian and immigrant Asian ownership (Macpherson 16). Therefore, the Native Americans used the prevailing laws and regulations that favored them in the acquisition of natural resources such as land. However, the control and acquisition of natural resources for the Native Americans were limited to regulations such as water rights, environmental protection, and hunting as well as fishing rights.

Natural resources intersect with culture, race, class, and culture in various ways such as how the different groups of people own certain types of natural resources in the United States. There has been racial and ethnic diversification in the United States over how resources are shared and continue to experience more diversification due to the many groups of people that continue to migrate to the country such as those from Africa and Asian countries. American natives play an essential role in the environmental history of ecology in the United States. American natives sought to understand the vital connections and relationships between individuals and plants as well as animals. The many specialists within the Native Americans cultural group in various categories such as marine and vegetation provide an understanding of the relationship between human beings and the world around them.

Native Americans have always done their best to enhance the conservation of natural resources for various reasons. For instance, conservation of natural resources for the Native Americans have helped in saving fuel, increasing organic matter, reducing soil erosion as well as improving the quality of air. Also, conservation of natural resources has led to an increase in the number of wildlife as well as improving soil tilth. Important to note is the fact that the determination to conserve natural resources by Native Americans led to many benefits such as recreation, flowing rivers, aquifer recharge, streamside vegetation, and wildlife habitat.

Environmental history is a discipline among the Native Americans in the United States that was as a result of the growing awareness of environmental challenges such as air and water pollution due to excessive use of pesticides (Merchant 14). Also, environmental history was triggered by factors such as the continued depletion of the ozone layer as well as the greenhouse effect that is caused by an individual's activities. Therefore, as a result of the environmental challenges, historians in the United States began looking for a solution to the contemporary issues that depleted natural resources in the country. Environmental history involves two components, which are ecology and geography. Native Americans have always used ecology to study and analyze past environments. Moreover, Native American historians have used anthropology and archeology to explain environmental history in the United States. Therefore, Native Americans have continued to enhance environmental history since it has always been used to deepen people's understanding of how human beings have been affected by the environment in the past as well as how individuals continue to change the environment.


In conclusion, environmental history has always been about human interaction with the natural world as well as the interactions between nature and culture. Native Americans have contributed immensely to both positive and negative impacts on natural resources. Also, environmental history studies the relationships between human beings and the surrounding environments. Natural resources interact with culture, class, and gender in many ways especially for the Native Americans due to the struggles the cultural group has experienced to ensure control over access to natural resources such as land and water.

Works Cited

Macpherson, Crawford Brough, ed. Property, mainstream and critical positions. Vol. 214. University of Toronto Press, 2011. Retrieved from

Merchant, Carolyn. The Columbia guide to American environmental history. Columbia University Press, 2005. Retrieved from

Riebsame, William E., Stanley A. Changnon Jr, and Thomas R. Karl. Drought and natural resources management in the United States. Impacts and implications of the 1987-89 drought. Westview Press Inc., 2011. Retrieved from

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Essay Sample on Environmental History: Natural Resources, Gender, Race, and Class. (2023, Jan 25). Retrieved from

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