The chapter conceptualizes national parks as a social innovation. It explores how historical developments, coupled with the efforts of individuals, turned the national parks idea into an institutionalized reality. The chapter shows that the literary and intellectual movements of the 19th century, the advancement of science, and the political process of colonization created a gravitational field within which the national park idea gradually gained its present shape and content. The chapter probes into the establishment of the Yellowstone National Park and the convergence of altruistic sentiments, political priorities, and economic interests that led to its creation in 1872.
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