By Lary M. Dilsaver, Jonathan B. Jarvis
Now in a completely up-to-date version, this worthy reference paintings is a basic source for students, scholars, conservationists, and electorate drawn to America's nationwide park approach. The broad selection of records illustrates the system's construction, improvement, and administration.
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Extra info for America's National Park System
In subsequent decades new interpretations, changes in public and government attitudes, and the maturation of ecological science have added to the confusion. Although both these processes have been linear and evolutionary, distinct periods can be identified. Prior to 1918, the major component categories of the system were created. National parks, monuments, and battlefields were established and historic and prehistoric relics protected. However, there was no "system" per se. Each component was administered separately by the secretaries of War, Agriculture, and the Interior, depending on their location and purpose.
For the same reason no description, no measurements, no comparisons are of much value. " It is the will of the nation as embodied in the act of Congress that this scenery shall never be private property, but that like certain defensive points upon our coast it shall be held solely for public purposes. Two classes of considerations may be assumed to have influenced the action of Congress. The first and less important is the direct and obvious pecuniary advantage which comes to a commonwealth from the fact that it possesses objects which cannot be taken out of its Page 17 domain, that are attractive to travellers and the enjoyment of which is open to all.
From the arts and literature came the Romantic movement which encouraged the experience of mountains and wilderness. Authors like Henry David Thoreau and Washington Irving exhorted Americans to pursue nature even as the frontier rolled away from them. Landscape artists culminating with Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt presented awesome spectacles that received huge public interest. The rise in attention to nature coincided with the search for identity and pride among American literati. When compared to Europe's thousands of years of history, its fabric of ancient structures and sites, its rich cultural legacy built on many centuries of interchange, the United States appeared a rude, uncultured backwater.
America's National Park System by Lary M. Dilsaver, Jonathan B. Jarvis