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ISBN: 0804733961Издательство: Stanford University Press
For the most part, the forests of colonial Brazil were not harvested, but annihilated, and relatively little was extracted to the benefit of Brazilian's, a tragedy perhaps worse than deforestation alone. Fruitless Trees aims to make sense of what at first glance appears to be the senseless destruction of Brazil's incomparable timber. The forests have always been Brazil's most striking natural resource, and the Portuguese colonists anticipated substantial returns from its harvest, since Brazilian timber was more abundant and superior in quality to anything known in Europe, North America or even Portugal's East Indian possessions. This work investigates the relationship between Portugal's colonial forest policies and the successes of the colonial venture, showing how forest law shaped the fortunes of the timber sector and promoted or obstructed colonial development. Timber was the steel, oil, plastic and coal of the early modern period, and the effectiveness of its extraction had...