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Rise Of Environmentalism Response Paper

738 words - 3 pages

American conservationism and environmentalism spurred new societal and governmental attitudes towards land and natural resources while reflecting the values of the early and mid-20th century, respectively. With the conclusion of the Progressive era and the beginning of American counter-culture movement in the 1960s, the United States’ approach to the environment shifted from conservation and management to enforced regulation and protection showing the impact of a changing American awareness of the environment.
Although environmentalism and conservationism both promoted responsible human management of nature, the movements vary in their core ideologies. Specifically, conservation has its ...view middle of the document...

Growing disillusionment with social inequalities in the United States and the American involvement in Vietnam led to the rise of a 1960s counterculture that propelled a major shift from conservation to environmentalism. In this era, many Americans rebelled against the traditional norms of society by joining causes that demanded fundamental societal changes such as the Hippie, Civil Rights and Women’s movements. Environmentalism also emerged during this time of upheaval due to increased public awareness of the human impact on the environment. In particular, the devastating ecological effects of DDT and other toxic pesticides prompted the rise of environmentalism and the rejection of accepted conservation practices that actually eradicated flora and fauna. Environmentalism sought to continue regulating resources in the public domain, but no longer desired to reflect the Progressive Era moralism that rebuked predators, such as coyotes, and instigated “the deliberate campaign to destroy wild animals.” Similarly, the growing awareness of the “ecological catastrophe” in Vietnam caused by defoliants and herbicides like Agent Orange, turned the American public to environmentalism in order to establish a more peaceful and harmonious relationship with nature. Additionally, the fire on the Cuyahoga River heightened the American public’s awareness of the disastrous effects of pollution and the legacy of mismanagement of natural resources from the industrial era. This shocking occurrence also underscored the need for governmental regulation of the environment and...

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