Download After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection by James West Davidson, Mark Lytle PDF

By James West Davidson, Mark Lytle

For greater than twenty-five years, After the Fact has guided scholars via American historical past and the tools used to review it. In dramatic episodes that movement chronologically via American historical past, this best-selling publication examines a large number of issues together with oral proof, images, ecological facts, movies and tv courses, church and city documents, census information, and novels. even if for an introductory survey or for a historic equipment direction, After in truth the right textual content to introduce readers, step-by-step, to the detective paintings and analytical ways historians use after they are literally doing heritage.

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Extra info for After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection

Sample text

Pronghorn antelope may have outnumbered even buffalo. Beavers swelled the streams of eastern forests as well as those of the Rockies, and grizzly bears "were everywhere," reported one mountain man early in the nineteenth century. Thus the landscapes De Soto and his men entered in 1539 looked dif­ ferent for many reasons, including a changed climate, a greater variety and abundance of species,and Indians shaping the environment. But when the Europeans entered the Americas, they almost immediately began to change the ecosystems they encountered.

The paramount chief of Cofitachequi may have collected tribute from the flanks of the Carolina mountains all the way to the mouth of the Santee River along the Atlantic-"a hundred leagues, in which, as we saw, she was very well obeyed," wrote one chronicler. Intermediate "great nobles" administered portions of the chiefdom, each of these rulers known as a mico. At the lowest level, a lesser noble known as an orata was in charge of one or a few villages. Many expedition members thought De Soto should begin his colony here.

By May of 15 3 9 his ships lay off the coast of Florida, tacking in search of a deep harbor where they could land. What did those 600 Europeans see, looking onto the bay? A thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet, with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult. And very soon "many smokes" appeared "along the whole coast," billowing against the sky. The Indi­ ans had spotted the newcomers and were spreading the alarm by signal fires. Inland from the coast, the environment of the Southeast was little like what we would see today.

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