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Expansion Versus Preservation

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1.1.8 Discuss: Expansion versus Preservation


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AP U.S. History Sem 2 (S3785959)

Name: ____________________

Points possible: 20

Date: ____________

This discussion assignment is worth 20 points. To get the best grade possible, review the scoring rubric below and follow the instructions in the assignment closely.

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Step 1: Spend some time researching some late-19th-century policies surrounding the preservation of natural resources. The documents listed below can be found under the period of "1865 – 1900: Industrialization and Culture Change" on the AP U.S. History Research Library website. Use these as a starting point, but also expand you search to include other reliable web resources.

Secondary Source Document: 

  • Aubrey L. Haines, “Introduction,” Yellowstone National Park: Its Exploration and Establishment

Primary Source Documents: 

  • Nathaniel Pitt Langford, “Introduction,” The Discovery of Yellowstone Park
  • John Muir, “Chapter 2: Yellowstone National Park,” Our National Parks 

Step 2: Answer the questions below using the knowledge you have gained from reading the documents on the AP U.S. History Research Library. If necessary, supplement what you have learned with additional web research. This section is worth 6 points.

1. According to conservation proponents, what practical, aesthetic, and geological qualities did the preservation of Yellowstone as a national park offer the people of the United States?

The preservation of Yellowstone was marked as a first-time land that was devoted to recreation under the U.S. government. This helped in establishing other national parks across the US. Yellowstone and other future national parks help preserve and protect an “irreplaceable national heritage” (Haines). People visit Yellowstone so they can observe “wildest geysers in the world, in bright, triumphant bands” (Muir).

2. How did the American Indians want to use the land that became Yellowstone National Park? How did they feel about the creation of the park and its use restrictions?

American Indians wanted to use the land for many reasons. The first reason was to reach buffalo along of the trials. After American Indian tribes found horses, they could easily ride along a trail through the park to reach the herds of buffalo in Montana. Another way American Indians used Yellowstone before it became a national park was to find obsidian. They could use obsidian to make stone tools that were traded with other tribes.

3. What arguments were made regarding the American Indians' use of Yellowstone and the effect that use would have on the park?

People were for the Native Americans staying in Yellowstone made an argument that they were afraid of the “evil spirits” in the park. They claimed that Native Americans were very superstitious. On the other hand, some people said that Native Americans would harm the tourists and ruin Yellowstone’s reputation. No one would come to visit the park because they were all scared that something would happened to them.

4. Examine the debates and arguments made on both sides of the issue at that time, for and against creating a national park that conserved the natural world. Which side of the policy argument do you feel is most compelling?

One side of the argument had the intention of preserving the land. They wanted the park to be a place to observe wildlife and nature. The other side did not want the land to become a park because they needed it to survive. This side included Native Americans and other settlers. I think both sides are right in their position.



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