Title

The Mining Law of 1872: How outdated Mindsets are hurting People and the Environment

Presenter Information

Bradford Bonner

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Mining, Westward Expansion, Environment

Abstract

This project demonstrates how late 19th century mindsets lead to the creation of the Mining Law of 1872, and how those outdated mindsets are creating multiple problems in the world today. At its time, the Mining Law of 1872 did exactly what it was supposed, and that was to promote westward expansion across the United States to settle and claim vast new amounts of land and resources. To achieve this, the law is purposely written to allow anyone easy and cheap access to minerals to improve both the country’s and individual’s wealth. However, as America pushed forward into the 20th and 21st centuries, it saw changes on a scale never seen before. Populations reached record levels and cities along the California and Washington coasts ensured the West was being settled and developed. New technologies and strategies allowed miners to extract minerals at rates never fathomed in 1872, quickly altering local natural environments. Finally, the country saw a change in its mindset on the environment. Events like the Environmental Movement during the 1960s proved Americans were becoming more aware about the environment and no longer saw nature as something for man to control or conquer. Despite these changes, one law that remained untouched was the Mining Law of 1872, which still handles the country’s mining operations today; all in 1872 prices and mindsets. Because of the rapid change the West saw, these outdated policies can no longer keep up with modern mining practices and are only hurting the people and environments they touch.

Poster Number

9

Faculty Mentor(s)

Wirth, Rex

Additional Mentoring Department

Political Science

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

The Mining Law of 1872: How outdated Mindsets are hurting People and the Environment

SURC Ballroom C/D

This project demonstrates how late 19th century mindsets lead to the creation of the Mining Law of 1872, and how those outdated mindsets are creating multiple problems in the world today. At its time, the Mining Law of 1872 did exactly what it was supposed, and that was to promote westward expansion across the United States to settle and claim vast new amounts of land and resources. To achieve this, the law is purposely written to allow anyone easy and cheap access to minerals to improve both the country’s and individual’s wealth. However, as America pushed forward into the 20th and 21st centuries, it saw changes on a scale never seen before. Populations reached record levels and cities along the California and Washington coasts ensured the West was being settled and developed. New technologies and strategies allowed miners to extract minerals at rates never fathomed in 1872, quickly altering local natural environments. Finally, the country saw a change in its mindset on the environment. Events like the Environmental Movement during the 1960s proved Americans were becoming more aware about the environment and no longer saw nature as something for man to control or conquer. Despite these changes, one law that remained untouched was the Mining Law of 1872, which still handles the country’s mining operations today; all in 1872 prices and mindsets. Because of the rapid change the West saw, these outdated policies can no longer keep up with modern mining practices and are only hurting the people and environments they touch.