Colonists and Animals in North America

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ben_franklins_worldWhen we study the history of colonial North America, we tend to focus on European colonists and their rivalries with each other and with Native Americans. But humans weren’t the only living beings occupying North America during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Rivalries existed between humans and animals too. And these human-animal rivalries impacted and shaped how European colonists used and settled North American lands.

In this episode of Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History, Andrea Smalley, an associate professor of history at Northern Illinois University and author of Wild By Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), joins us to explore the many ways wild animals shaped colonists’ ideas and behavior as they settled and interacted with North American lands. You can listen to the podcast here:

Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our world. Each episode features an interview with an historian who shares their unique insights into our early American past. It is a production of the Omohundro Institute.

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