Conservation Movement

president Theodore Roosevelt

Definition and Summary of the Conservation Movement
Summary and Definition: The Conservation Movement was one of the reform movements in America that emerged during the Progressive era from 1890 - 1920. The goal of the conservation movement was to preserve important natural features in America. The Conservation Movement advocated the establishment of state and national and state parks, wildlife refuges and national monuments. President Theodore Roosevelt was a leader in the Conservation Movement fighting to end the waste of natural resources and conservation was a cornerstone of his domestic policy during his presidency.

Conservation Movement for kids
Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th American President who served in office from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909. One of the important events during his presidency was the emergence of the Conservation Movement during the Progressive era in America.


Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Movement

Theodore Roosevelt - Conservation Movement

Theodore Roosevelt and the Conservation Movement
Theodore Roosevelt became president of the United States of America in 1901 and the subject of conservation was high on his political agenda. President Theodore believed in efficiency and believed that natural features in the country were being squandered and destroyed endangering the most important and natural features of America. Theodore Roosevelt became an ardent conservationist and his views on conservationism were expressed in his Seventh Annual Message to the nation in 1906 in which he stated:

"The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use
constitute the fundamental problem which underlies
almost every other problem of our National life."

Conservation Movement for kids
In this famous quote President Roosevelt was referring to the impact and the  many social problems that had been caused during the Industrialization in America and its rapid, unplanned Urbanization. During this period the lives of many Americans had changed forever from a rural, agricultural environment to a congested, city-based environment. In his speech President Roosevelt went on to say that his presidential his administration had been trying,

 "to substitute a planned and orderly development of our resources in place of a haphazard striving for immediate profit."  

Conservation Movement for kids: The Political Cartoon
The cartoon captured the ideals of President Roosevelt and the Conservation Movement as he points to the poster that reads,

"Protect and preserve the remaining forests upon public lands from Devastation and Destruction
which has been the fate of those in forest sections of the country."

Conservation Movement for kids: Environmentalism vs Conservation
Some members of the Conservation Movement also embraced the philosophy of Environmentalism, believing that nature was sacred and should not be interfered with by man. What's the difference between Environmentalism and Conservation? The quotes of President Theodore Roosevelt hold the key to the differences between Environmentalism and Conservation. In his quotes he conveys the opinion that natural resources should be used, but in a planned, orderly and efficient manner to avoid waste, pollution and exploitation by unscrupulous men. 

Conservation Movement History for kids: The End of the Wilderness
The history of the United States tells of a country forged from the wilderness and in the 1890's Americans were witnessing its erosion. Their awareness of the changes in America and the end of the Wildness was dramatically highlighted in 1893 when American historian Frederick Jackson Turner (1861 – 1932) published an essay entitled "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." Frederick Jackson Turner believed the spirit and success of the United States was directly tied to the westward expansion of the nation and claimed that the American character had been shaped by the continuous experience of the wilderness and the frontier which, according to the 1890 census, had finally disappeared beneath the last waves of settlement.  He expressed the view that when the unlimited free land in the frontier and wilderness was available it had given Americans the psychological sense of unlimited opportunity. The vast American wilderness had been explored, settled, and exploited and members of the Conservation Movement believed the nation's natural optimism and drive would disappear along with its natural resources and indigenous population. The Conservation Movement promoted the idea that the remaining unspoiled lands had to be preserved for future generations.

Conservation Movement History for kids: Famous Conservationists - Caitlin, Thoreau and Muir
Members of the Conservation Movement was inspired by artists and writers such as George Caitlin, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. The artist and author George Caitlin (1796 – 1872) was a man of true vision and realized that the encroachment of the white settlers were destroying tribes and the culture of Native American Indians. He was determined to capture images of the indigenous people of America and their lifestyles which he knew would disappear. The following images are taken from Warpaths to Peace Pipes which includes many of George Caitlin's paintings and information from his books.

George Caitlin not only witnessed at first hand the decline of a civilization he also saw the near extinction of the buffalo, killed in their thousands for sport and entertainment. The writer and conservationist, Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862), believed that "all good things are wild and free" and his beliefs led to the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the first national park in the world. The writer, naturalist and preservationist John Muir (1838 – 1914) witnessed the wanton logging of giant redwoods in California and the damage caused by excessive grazing of sheep, which he called "hoofed locusts". Muir urged protection of  the Yosemite Valley and Congress responded by creating Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. John Muir founded the 'Sierra Club which became a prominent American conservation organization. The frightening examples of destruction in the nation's recent history and the publications of early conservationists were significant to the rise of the reformists in the Progressive Era and the Conservation Movement.

Conservation Movement History: The Progressive Era
Progressive Era in America encompassed a whole variety of different ideas and activities of pressure groups, including the Conservation Movement, who determined to bring about reform. The Conservation movement was one of the leading pressure groups and its Progressive members believed that the government should take a more active role in solving the problems of American society by restoring order and protecting the welfare of Americans by conservation and environmental reforms. The Progressive era (1890 - 1920) and Conservation Movement was largely due to a backlash against the Rise of Big Business and Corporations that were lead by wealthy, greedy, and unethical men, referred to as the Robber Barons.

Conservation Movement History for kids: No State or Government Control
The massive corporations and Robber Barons operated under the economic system of Free enterprise combined with the concept of 'Laissez-Faire' and the companies were largely free of state control and government regulation. The Conservation Movement fought for government intervention.

Conservation Movement History for kids: Industries and the "Tradition of Waste"
Unscrupulous Robber Barons had heavily exploited the natural resources of America, and were targets of the Conservation Movement. These hard men cared nothing for the environment or conservation, they were driven purely by profit. Their goal was to exploit the nation's supply of natural resources and to meet their goal they developed a "tradition of waste", devoid of proper planning or foresight. The most important industries involved in the "haphazard striving for immediate profit" were the Railroads, Mining Industries and the Timber and Lumber Industry.

● The Mining Industries extracted natural resources such as coal, iron, gold, silver, copper and oil. The mining companies used unethical, dangerous, inefficient and wasteful mining practices devoid of government regulation
● The timber, lumber and logging industry practiced unplanned and destructive methods, often leading to uncontrolled fires
● The great railroad companies and land speculators had purchased vast tracts of farming and grazing lands and forests

Conservation Movement in America for kids: Threats to the Environment
The Conservation movement grew as Americans became increasingly aware and alarmed by the activities of the Big Businesses and Corporations. People were genuinely concerned that the nation would soon run out of vital natural resources, especially wood, unless the government intervened. They were witnessing the destruction of America as they saw great forests were being routinely destroyed and the natural beauty and wildlife of the country being ravaged. Groups in the Conservation movement protested that raw materials and resources would run out, depriving future generations of Americans of their natural heritage and argued that undeveloped lands of great natural beauty must be preserved. The arguments for preserving natural wildlife increased as birds and small animals were driven from their natural habitats by the rise of industry and the process of Urbanization. Other conservationists looked at the effects of unplanned and rapid Urbanization of the towns and cities. There were few parks or gardens where people could breathe fresh air. There was inadequate sanitation or sewage facilities which led to pollution. The
unsanitary conditions in the towns and cities resulted in lethal cholera epidemics and tuberculosis. Members of the Conservation movement fought to improve both the rural and the urban environment.

Conservation Movement in America: Accomplishments of the Conservationists and President Roosevelt
The emergence of the Conservation movement led to many accomplishments by famous conservationists and the actions taken by the 'Conservationist President' Theodore Roosevelt.
Between 1905 and 1916, the National Parks Service and  the U.S. Forest Service were created, five more national parks. Roosevelt signed legislation for the National Monuments Act ( Antiquities Act) and proclaimed four national monuments and created fifty-three wildlife sanctuaries. Theodore Roosevelt deserved the title as the "Father of Conservation".

Conservation Movement Timeline for kids: History and timeline of the Progressive Movement
The timeline
history of the reform societies, the crusading authors and important people and political events in the Conservation Movement. Interesting facts and a timeline about the Conservation Movement and the important Conversationalists are detailed below. The information on the Conservation Movement is told in a factual, date sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the history and events in the Conservation Movement Timeline.

Conservation Movement Timeline for kids: 1890 - 1920

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 1: 1841: George Caitlin published Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 2: 1851: Henry David Thoreau delivers an address in Massachusetts declaring that "in Wildness is the preservation of the World."

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 3: 1872: Yellowstone National Park is created by an Act of Congress

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 4: 1887: The Boone and Crockett Club is founded by Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell. Its goal is to stem the loss of the nation’s natural resources and to conserve wildlife habitat

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 5: 1890: Congress passes legislation establishing Sequoia National Parkand Yosemite and General Grant National Parks

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 6: 1890: The start of the Progressive Era and increasing support for the Conservation Movement

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 7: 1891: Congress passes the Forest Reserve Act that grants the President the authority to establish forest reserves on public lands by proclamation

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 8: 1892: John Muir founds the Sierra Club that is dedicated to the preservation of wilderness.

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 9: 1893: Frederick Jackson Turner publishes "The Significance of the Frontier in American History."

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 10: 1898: Gifford Pinchot is appointed chief of the Division of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 11: 1899: The Harriman Alaska Expedition explores coastal Alaska undertaken by Americans involved in conservationism

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 12: 1900: The Lacey Act becomes the first Federal law protecting game

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 13: 1901: Theodore Roosevelt becomes president and champions the Conservationists. In his First Annual Message he announces his goals of forest conservation and preservation

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 14: 1902: Congress passes a bill establishing Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 15: 1902: Congress passes the Alaska Game Act protecting animals in Alaska

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 16: 1903: The first Federal Bird Reservation is established on Pelican Island, Florida

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 17: 1903: Congress passes a bill establishing Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota.

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 18: 1904: The Square Deal Policy in which President Roosevelt supports progressive and aggressive political reforms, including the heavy regulation of business as well as supporting the Conservation Movement.

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 19: 1904 Congress passes a bill which leads to the establishment of Sullys Hill National Park, North Dakota.

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 20: 1905 The American Bison Society is organized

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 21: 1905: The American Forest Congress in Washington is attended by government leaders and members of the Conservation Movement who raise issues relating to natural resources to leaders of lumbering, mining, grazing, and irrigation industries

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 22: 1906: Congress passes the Game and Bird Preserves Protection Act

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 23: 1906: The National Monuments Act ( Antiquities Act)  is passed authorizing the President to establish national monuments for the preservation of historic, prehistoric, and scientific interest

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 24: 1906: President Roosevelt issues a Presidential Proclamation establishing Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming, as the nation's first National Monument

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 25: 1906: Congress passes by a law establishing Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, and Platt National Park, Oklahoma

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 26: 1906: Congress passes by "An Act For the control and regulation of the waters of Niagara River, for the preservation of Niagara Falls, and for other purposes"

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 27: 1907: Proclamation issued establishing Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument, California

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 28: 1908: The National Conservation Commission is established

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 29: 1908: Muir Woods National Monument, California is established

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 30: 1909: The First National Conservation Congress is convened by the Washington State Conservation Association

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 31: 1909: Congress passes "An Act To create the Calaveras Bigtree National Forest"

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 32: 1909: President Roosevelt issues a Proclamation establishing Mount Olympus National Monument, Washington.

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 33: 1909: The presidency of Theodore Roosevelt comes to an end on March 4, 1909. He becomes known as the "Father of Conservation".

Conservation Movement Timeline Fact 34: 1933: The idea and creation of the highly acclaimed Civilian Conservation Corps by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression, originated from FDR’s experiences with the ideals of the Conservation Movement and his involvement with the Boy Scouts

Conservation Movement Timeline for kids

Conservation Movement for kids - President Theodore Roosevelt Video
The article on the Conservation Movement provides detailed facts and a summary of one of the important events during his presidential term in office. The following video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 26th American President whose presidency spanned from September 14, 1901 to March 4, 1909.

Conservation Movement

● Facts about the Conservation Movement for kids and schools
● Summary of the Conservation Movement in US history
● The Conservation Movement, a major event in US history
● Conservation Movement Timeline and History
● Fast, fun facts about the Conservation Movement Timeline
● Domestic policies of President Roosevelt - Conservation Movement
● Theodore Roosevelt Presidency and Conservation Movement for schools, homework, kids and children

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