By Anya Zilberstein
'A Temperate Empire' explores how early North American settlers understood the common means of weather warming and attempted to remake neighborhood climates via colonial cost and financial development.
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Extra resources for A temperate empire: making climate change in early America
As a result, using latitude to compare these belts’ environments was wrong. At the same time, Buffon retained the deterministic prejudice against extreme climates. He speculated that the world’s oldest, most developed, and largest plants and animals originated in the North Pole when the global climate was warmer; as it cooled, these species moved southward through the older landmass to seek the warmest climates of Africa and Asia. Because of its position with respect to the equator, the New World and its native biota were altogether younger, less mature, and smaller.
They lit a fire but the cold was too strong for the English and, despite the help of Wampanoags from Plymouth, the whole company was weakened. ” In the winter of 1630–1631, over 200 immigrants lost limbs to frostbite or died from illness and exposure; another 200 left the region. In his History of the Colony of Massachuset’s Bay (1764), Thomas Hutchinson cited a woman who visited southern New England in the mid-seventeenth 22 22 A T e m pe r at e E m pi r e century. ”4 Such were the widely contrasting early descriptions of northeastern North America’s seasonal temperatures, weather, landscapes, and resources.
As late as the 1750s, Boston physician and historian William Douglass substituted North Virginia as a collective term for New England and Nova Scotia in his widely circulated geographical history. He justified this usage by citing the many maps and other texts that continued to use it. ”40 If Douglass exaggerated the currency of North Virginia as a place-name, eighteenth-century writers called the region by other names that emphasized northernness. ” Such geographical lumping also reflected political geography, particularly new administrative units that the British improvised over the course of the Seven Years’ War.