Frontier Settlement and Market Revolution: The Holland Land Purchase

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Land development in western New York contributed to some of the most dramatic and convulsive changes in nineteenth-century America. In Frontier Settlement and Market Revolution, Charles E. Brooks explains how the Holland Land Purchase-in which the Holland Land Company purchased 3.3 million acres of land in western New York State-contributed to the development of a frontier region. Powerful cultural and religious changes flowing from evangelical Protestantism, together with settlement and the intensification of market relations, put western New York in the vanguard of capitalist transformation in rural areas. Brooks also describes the ecological impact of frontier settlement and the evolution of private land development based on the decision either to clear land for farming or to harvest forest products for potash, lumber, maple sugar, fuel wood, and scrub pasture.