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Environment and History

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Environment and History

The Politics of Conservation in France in the 19th Century

Patrick Matagne

Environment and History 4(1998): 359-367

Everything concerning the domain of nature conservation is rich in paradoxes and contradictory interests: the romantic ideal; the established scientific facts; economical and colonial interests; patriotic feelings; moral, ethical and asthetic arguments. I will endeavour to show how French conservation policies in the 19th century interpreted these conflicts and paradoxes through three important issues: i) the protection of landscapes; ii) the protection of animal and vegetable species; and iii) nature conservation in the colonies.

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