American Indians and Europeans both conceived of landscapes as places where history happened and used this association between land and memory to construct national, or collective identities. They marked sites on the land that were of historic importance and attached emotional meaning to them, constituting a kind of territorial possession, or claim to land as property, that was equivalent in significance to conceptions of territories as repositories of economic resources. At first, Europeans had no attachment to the lands of North America and so dwelled on its capacity to yield economic profit. However, as they took land from the Native inhabitants, they ignored Indian landmarks and wrote their own history on the landscape to make it their own.
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