Humankind’s relationship with nature has been evolutionary. Nature’s agency initially overpowered human agency, limiting what people could do in their quest for survival. Ever so slowly people domesticated material things, such as fire and wood, and they made tools to assist them from bones, wood, and stone that gradually became more sophisticated. These tools became the principal link between humankind and the material world, and as human communities became more complex, people produced sophisticated tools worthy of being called technologies. Ships, mills, weapons, buildings—each invention and innovation increased human agency, and nature slowly gave way before it, a process visible through landscapes. This essay focuses on North America, where between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, human commodification of nature and the side effects of their technologies ultimately became so complex and complete that they ate away at the planetary ecosystem on which their own existence depends. Today, the Anthropocene encapsulates the idea of the age of humans, and nature’s agency seems to crumble as an independent force in the face of human actions.