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The El Dorado of Forestry: The Eucalyptus in India, South Africa, and Thailand, 1850–2000*

  • Brett M. Bennett (a1)
Abstract
Summary

This article argues that because of the perceived and real biological characteristics of the different species of the genus Eucalyptus, imperialists and settlers, and later governments and the elites of developing nations, planted eucalypts widely and created new socio-ecological systems that encouraged and reinforced divergent patterns of economic, social, and ecological development. Planting eucalypts changed local ecologies and encouraged a movement towards market-based capitalism that benefited settlers, large landowners, urban elites and middle classes, and capital-intensive industries at the expense of indigenous groups living in and near forests. This article analyses the globalization of eucalypts in four broad phases: first, an enthusiastic expansion and planting from 1850–1900; secondly, failure in the tropics from 1850–1960; thirdly, increased planting and success rates in the tropics from 1960–2000, and fourthly, a growing criticism of eucalypts that began in the late nineteenth century and blossomed in the 1980s during an intense period of planting in India and Thailand.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Donald Worster , “Transformations of the Earth: Toward an Agroecological Perspective in History”, Journal of American History, 76 (1990), pp. 10871106

Richard Grove , “Scottish Missionaries, Evangelical Discourses and the Origins of Conservation Thinking in Southern Africa 1820–1900”, Journal of Southern African Studies, 15 (1989), p. 184

William Parr Greswell , Geography of Africa South of the Zambesi (Oxford, 1892), p. 363

Jacob Tropp , “Displaced People, Replaced Narratives: Forest Conflicts and Historical Perspectives in the Tsolo District”, Journal of Southern African Studies, 29 (2003), pp. 207233

R. Crawshay , “Basutoland and the Basuto”, The Geographical Journal, 21 (1903), pp. 645655, 651

J. Shortt , “An Account of the Tribes on the Neilgherries”, Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London, 7 (1869), pp. 230290

Gregory Barton and Brett M. Bennett , “Forestry as Foreign Policy: Anglo-Siamese Relations and the Origins of Britain’s Informal Empire in the Teak Forests of Northern Siam, 1883–1925”, Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, 34 (2010), pp. 6586

Peter Vandergeest and Nancy Peluso , “Empires of Forestry: Professional Forestry and State Power in Southeast Asia, Part 1”, Environment and History, 12 (2006), pp. 3164

Andrew Walker’s discussion of the relationship between forestry tenure and agricultural tenure in “Seeing Farmers for the Trees: Community Forestry and the Arborealisation of Agriculture in Northern Thailand”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 45 (2004), pp. 311324

Keith Barney , “Re-encountering Resistance: Plantation Activism and Smallholder Production in Thailand and Sarawak, Malaysia”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 45 (2004), pp. 325339

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International Review of Social History
  • ISSN: 0020-8590
  • EISSN: 1469-512X
  • URL: /core/journals/international-review-of-social-history
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