Home › Forums › Questions and Feedback › When did the British landscape acquire its modern look, take II › Re: Re: When did the British landscape acquire its modern look, take II
I have travelled throughout the United States and in Scotland, and I don't want to make sweeping judgments, but I think there are at least two different ideas about what constitutes a “wilderness”. I have been many places in the Western United States where the hand of man has touched but lightly; and while I saw many places in Scotland that were isolated, they all had the feel of a place that has been long inhabited. It has to do with timing I think. The Western United States began to be heavily settled in the latter half of the 19th century, around the same time as the conservation movement began to gain steam. Whereas when the towns and villages of the British Isles began to be settled, they had no thought that 500-1000 years in the future their ancestors might be curious about what the place looked like before humans lived there. But I think basically, the Brits have looked at wilderness as quite nice, but it must be controlled. Whereas Americans, probably because it was settled so much later; and the country was so big; (and other reasons, which belong in a different podcast,) began to see wilderness as not just something that couldn't be controlled but later as something that shouldn't be controlled. This isn't a slam against the Brits by the way, it is a function of time, technology and geography.By the way, this is apropos of nothing, but among the American members, do you find yourself being extra careful with the terms "English and British"? I used to use them almost interchangably; (I know, I know, I'm embarassed,) but now I only use "English" to refer to someone or something from the country of England.