The role and impact of the urban “labouring classes” in the environmental history of North America
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I have to write approximately 1000 words for each question.
The last question you can write is around 850 words, or whatever is left from the word count. PLEASE DO NOT USE EXTERNAL SOURCES AS THIS IS AN EXAMINATION ON THE COURSE CONTENT. I have attached all the course readings, and you can choose which reading works for the questions.
1. Although scholars have typically privileged the role of technical elites and other elite/middleclass groups in their research, what has been the role and impact of the urban “labouring classes” in the environmental history of North America? Discuss examples from at least two
cities in your answer.
. In what ways did “technical elites” seek to create “second nature” in North American cities in
the 1800s and 1900s, and how influential were their contributions? Your answer should begin by
outlining what sorts of occupations should be included within this elite category, offer a brief
discussion of the “second nature” concept, and then go on to discuss the contributions of this group
as they relate to at least two cities.
In what ways did the changes experienced in what Joel Tarr calls the North American
“networked city” of the late 1800s/early 1900s connect to popular notions of “wilderness”
and/or “nature” emerging in the 20th century as discussed by scholars such as William Cronon?
4. Explain the concept of “urban metabolism”. In what ways does the history and geography of the
infrastructure related to water provide an effective example of this concept?
5. Why and how do ideas about “morality” and “respectability” matter in urban environmental
PLEASE NO EXTERNAL SOURCES.