Americans and Their Weather by William B. Meyer

By William B. Meyer

This revealing ebook synthesizes study from many fields to supply the 1st whole background of the jobs performed by way of climate and weather in American existence from colonial instances to the current. writer William B. Meyer characterizes climate occasions as impartial phenomena which are inherently neither risks nor assets, yet can develop into both counting on the actions with which they have interaction. Meyer files the ways that other kinds of climate all through historical past have represented dangers and assets not just for such uncovered outside ambitions as agriculture, struggle, transportation, building, and sport, yet for different nation-states of existence starting from production to migration to human wellbeing and fitness. He issues out that whereas the elements and weather through themselves have by no means made up our minds the process human occasions, their importance as been consistently altered for larger and for worse via the evolution of yankee existence.

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No more does it support the myth that that climate was essentially a richer resource than the North's. Tastes and wants; world conditions of technology, politics, and demand and supply for particular items; and local conditions of labor supply were what gave the South's climate its value as a resource—a value that changed as those conditions did. Such changes carried one staple crop from boom to bust in less than a hundred years though the climate became no more or less suited to growing it than before.

The hunting, corn, and livestock economy that prevailed in the eighteenth-century southern backcountry was far less toilsome than the cash-crop regime of the steamy tidewater. There were good reasons why, but the fact that they prevailed showed how far the climate was from determining such matters. 27 The cultivation of the leaf was an onerous business involving many painstaking operations. 28 Rice late in the century captured the attention of lowland Carolinians looking for a profitable crop of their own.

The name, as Earle writes, "stood for an old England writ new, for a redundant region with dour prospects for improving the balance of English economic accounts . . 9 Many of those who settled there would not have been averse, other things being equal, to a richer land, but they were better able to tolerate the north's disadvantages and even see them as attractions than the colonists of Virginia would have been. "For those bent on great fortunes, the northeastern coast of the New World had limited appeal.

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