But the federal government's extra-extra-large involvement in the management of western lands is far more than a conflict about grazing, water, mining, logging and other development. It pits the principle of good stewardship of the land, for the welfare of present and future generations, against one of America's foundational axioms: That government is best which governs least . The former attitude requires a central government to assume authority, restrict access, punish rule-breakers — and increasingly so, since resource depletion is a growing threat.
The latter viewpoint holds government intervention to be the problem, not the solution, and the stated reasons for it — be it conservation or climate change — as convenient cover stories at best. Jump ship and buy land in a poor undeveloped country, Start a farm and build a new community. Ultimately, this map reverberates and keeps bouncing around the internet because it touches a divide in American politics and wider society that is about much more than land use.
It pits libertarians versus federalists, with the gap between them increasing to such an extent that the former often seem to the latter to be no more than right-wing vigilantes, the latter to the former nothing less than world-government-promoting socialists. Until some middle ground emerges to bridge that divide, this map and other incendiary devices will continue to add fuel to the ideological fire. Got a strange map? Let me know at strangemaps gmail. Not that one acre is a tragedy. But you catch our meaning.
See the scales at the bottom: Alaska's mile line is 4 times shorter than the Lower 48's. Meaning a that Alaska is shown 4 times smaller than the Lower 48; and b that if Alaska's scale would have been as long as the other, it would have measured 2, miles — i.
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New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security. California, an island? Meet cartography's most persistent mistake. Strange Maps. The essay addresses the federal government's indispensable role in land acquisition, its regulation of the fur trade, and its roles in managing defense, trade, and social policies. Complementing a wave of new scholarship, "How Big Government Won the West" offers a brief and compelling look at governance in the republic's first century.
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Rockwell addresses numerous examples of federal government activity in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: government-run trading houses designed to drive American Indians into debt, thus forcing land cessions; the federal response to the Whiskey Rebellion; the cost of the Louisiana Purchase; the construction of the National Road; the building of seacoast fortifications; the tragedy of Indian Removal; the terror of the Fugitive Slave Act of ; and federal initiatives addressing health, welfare, veterans' pensions, the mails, and disaster relief.
Stephen J. Rockwell is Professor of Political Science at St.