Creatures of Empire by Virginia DeJohn Anderson
How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



When we think of the key figures of early American history, we think of explorers, or pilgrims, or Native Americans--not cattle, or goats, or swine. But as Virginia DeJohn Anderson reveals in this brilliantly original account of colonists in New England and the Chesapeake region, livestock played a vitally important role in the settling of the New World.
Livestock, Anderson writes, were a central factor in the cultural clash between colonists and Indians as well as a driving force in the expansion west. By bringing livestock across the Atlantic, colonists believed that they provided the means to realize America's potential, a goal that Indians, who lacked domestic animals, had failed to accomplish. Settlers believed that Indians who learned to keep livestock would also advance along the path toward civility and Christian faith. But colonists failed to anticipate that the animals they hoped would convert Indians instead generated friction between the two people as Indians encountered free-ranging livestock at almost every turn, often trespassing in their cornfields. Moreover, concerned about feeding their growing populations and committed to a style of husbandry that required far more space than they had expected, colonists could see no alternative but to appropriate Indian land. This created tensions that reached the boiling point with King Philip's War and Bacon's Rebellion. And it established a pattern that would repeat time and again over the next two centuries.
A stunning account that presents our history in a truly new light, Creatures of Empire restores a vital element of our past, illuminating one of the great forces of colonization and the expansion westward.

About Virginia DeJohn Anderson

See more books from this Author
Virginia DeJohn Anderson is Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is the author of New England's Generation and co-author (with David Goldfield, et al.) of The American Journey: A History of the United States.
Published November 15, 2004 by Oxford University Press, USA. 337 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Creatures of Empire

The Best Reviews

Livestock, Anderson writes, were a .

Nov 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Creatures of Empire:How Domes...

Reader Rating for Creatures of Empire

An aggregated and normalized score based on 14 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review