“A Senseless and Mischievous Fad?”:

Ian Tyrrel

in Crisis of the Wasteful Nation

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2015 | ISBN: 9780226197760
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780226197937 | DOI:
“A Senseless and Mischievous Fad?”:

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Examines the aftermath of Roosevelt’s presidential conservation measures; demonstrates continuity in conservation policies between Roosevelt and William Howard Taft; and documents disagreements over the Ballinger Affair which ultimately pulled the Progressive conservation movement into open opposition to Taft. While conservation moved to the center of Progressivism as it continued to develop, the decline of alarmism about resources is charted through changing assessments of resource availability, and the work of fuel expert Joseph Holmes to improve engine and boiler efficiencies and other fossil fuel conservation. The impact of Roosevelt’s schemes for efficiency continued internationally through the (British) Dominions Royal Commission on Natural Resources, and in the Fourth Pan-American Science Congress in 1915-16, where Roosevelt’s ideas influenced the proceedings through the work of Gifford Pinchot and his allies. Tropical forestry research in the United States and its dependencies expanded, while neo-mercantilist trading blocs sought to secure raw materials for long-term use for capitalist development, in the U.S. case centred on Latin America. The consummation of the Country Life campaign occurred through action in the U.S. Congress and internationally in David Lubin’s work for the International Institute of Agriculture.

Keywords: Ballinger Affair; progressivism; William Howard Taft; pan-Americanism; neo-mercantilism; rural reform

Chapter.  6430 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental History

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