People, Parks, Poverty

The creation of national parks began in the 19th century, a time when frontier expansion was coming to an end in North America. This was the expansion of modern European-oriented American society across the landscape of American indigenous peoples. A similar expansion previously occurred in the modernization of Europe. This is a process also known as the enclosure of the commons—the expansion of the Western world into the realm of rural societies and non-Western societies. Both Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks were areas previously occupied by indigenous peoples. In fact, in both areas, indigenous peoples were evicted to give way to modern and scientific park management. In 1851, the U.S. armed forces entered the Yosemite Valley to remove the Ahwahneechee people from the valley. Once ...

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