Sustainable Scotland
Sustainable Scotland

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Sustainable Scotland

8.1 The Romantic movement

The Romantic movement argued that we were born pure and natural, so an interest in (apparently) simple peasantry took hold. For example, Boswell and Johnson's trip to the Highlands and Islands in 1773 was seen as chance to visit the 'noble savage' on their doorstep (Gold and Gold, 1995).

For early environmentalists like Dunbar-born John Muir, who was one of the main campaigners for the Yosemite National Park in the USA and founder of the influential Sierra Club in 1892, nature was no longer simply a supplier of raw materials and a sink for waste.

Nature, and being in nature, came to be seen as a cure for the mental and physical ills associated with the cities of the late 19th century (Hannigan, 1995). This attitude continues and informs the outdoor movements and the environmentalism of today.

Activity 13

You can learn more about John Muir and Yosemite on the Smithsonian [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] website.

As you read the article, note the kind of language that John Muir uses to describe the park


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