His use of this template indicates, as Mafia Cuoto explains, that his concerns about the course of African and Mexican development were prompted by "an agonizing recall of the loss of the innocent beauty of undespoiled
, rural England," and the contrast between that arcadia and the "soulless brashness of [the] urban bourgeoisie" in modern Britain, one that led him to warn against and lament industrial civilization's expansion (13).
As anthropologist Theodora Kroeber wrote, "The conquerors wrested from its owners a land undespoiled
: no tool heavier than a woman's wooden digging stick had broken the earth's protecting crust." The mineral incursions displaced many foothill tribes, and the logging, sullying of streams, hunting, and grazing not only constituted the first wave of environmental damage, but devastated native food sources.