Today in eco-history: Thoreau wrote “Wildness is the preservation of the world”

On this day in 1851  Henry David Thoreau posits in an address to the Concord Lyceum his famous thesis that “in Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

According to Thoreau meant that in the wild one finds “independence and self-reliance, which were necessary in order for humans to keep on surviving and growing as a species. Thus, as he argues here, the wildness of nature actually contains the secret of the preservation of the world.”

Thoreau was a leading abolitionist, advocate of civil disobedience, and environmentalist. He died in 1862.

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