EXTRACTING THE FAR WEST
IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
1. What challenges did Russians face in exploiting the Alaskan environment? What collaborations did they form in order to engage in the sea otter trade? Were they successful? Explain your answer.
2. Discuss the impacts of Russian occupation of Alaska on the sea otter, the Aleut, and the Tlingit. What forms of resistance did these three groups make to the Russian sea otter trade?
3. How did Indians in the far West interact with their environment before the advent of European settlers? What impacts did white settlement have on their way of life?
4. Describe and assess the 19th century environmental effects of gold panning, river bottom, and hydraulic mining technologies.
5. What economic and environmental controversy underlay the encounter between miners and farmers over hydraulic mining in California? How did the protagonists use the legal system to resolve the dispute?
6. Discuss the transformation of the Pacific Northwest from the
perspectives of a salmon, a gillnetter, and a capitalist.