Chapter

: From South America to the American South, 1900–1950

in The Fire Ant Wars

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780226079813
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226079844 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226079844.003.0002
: From South America to the American South, 1900–1950

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This chapter presents a summary of the entry of the red fire ant into the United States. This insect developed in South America millennia before the first human evolved on this planet. This ant is by nature independent of humans, but people made the insect's transportation to North America possible and Americans unwittingly facilitated the spread of this type of ant. The ant thrived best in areas of ecological disturbance as it adapted to life on a flood plain. During the third and fourth decades of the twentieth century the American South suffered a huge change, and this change has been referred to as the “bulldozer revolution” by the historian C. Vann Woodward. This revolution has been exploited by the ant as it spread across the region. Thus, it was a blend of the ant's natural history and human action that caused the insect's spread.

Keywords: red fire ant; North America; United States; human; nature; ecological disturbance; bulldozer revolution

Chapter.  14049 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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