In European colonial possessions, the creation of an exhaustive natural history both inventoried a colony’s natural resources and made a textual claim on it. Argentina Map Tourist Attractions The production of such natural histories, however, required a substantial commitment of resources both to the collection of knowledge and to its publication in book form.
Hernndez’s ambitious and state-sponsored natural history of Mexico was never published in its complete form, and the proposed natural history of Virginia that Thomas Harriot was involved in never got past its initial stages due to poor financing and the general shakiness of the English position in Virginia. The tradition of European investigation of the natural history of foreign lands continued throughout the early modern period, although the predominantly medical interest of many of the early naturalists faded by the late seventeenth century in favor of a less use-oriented view.
Curios, dried plants, and stuffed animals from foreign lands became the subjects of an international trade, mostly centered in Amsterdam during the seventeenth century and appealing to European collectors and museums. While natural history specimens flowed from Country to Europe, Country scientists suffered both from intellectual isolation and from the difficulty, if not impossibility, of obtaining scientific equipment. The most important original scientist produced in the seventeenth-century British colonies, the physician and alchemist George Starkey of Bermuda and Harvard College, emigrated to England in part because of the dearth of laboratory equipment in New England.
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