Fur Trade Essay Ap Central Synthesis Essay Rubric

A primary object of the terrestrial fur trade was beaver, the soft underfur of which was turned into expensive and sought-after beaver hats. Lawrence River, Jacques Cartier traded European goods, such as axes, cloth, and glass beads, to Indians who waved beaver furs on sticks from the shoreline, a sign that they had already engaged in trade with Europeans.

In time, the same protocols and rituals, and the same sorts of goods, enabled the commercial and social interactions of New France’s Governor le Compte de Frontenac with Huron allies in 1690, Sir William Johnson with Mohawk clients of the British Empire in the 1750s, and the Hudson’s Bay Company’s John Mc Loughlin with Pacific Northwest Natives in the 1830s.

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British interest in the Oregon fur trade originated with the late eighteenth-century maritime expeditions of British naval officers James Cook and George Vancouver.By about 1870, through treaties and the establishment of the reservation system, Native subsistence bases had practically collapsed, and Indians could no longer survive on the natural products of their own land.Still, the fur trade and Indian trade offer a deep-time continuity that is unmatched in North American history.Captain James Cook's Third Voyage to the Pacific in the 1770s took him to the Pacific Northwest Coast, where he encountered Native Nations such as the Haida, Tlingit, and Nootkans.After Cook was killed in Hawai'i, his associate George Vancouver continued to explore and chart the Northwest Coast.Proximity to and alliances with traders reshaped the contours of Native politics and power across North America.Diversity characterized fur traders’ society everywhere: nowhere in North America was a society more multilingual and multicultural.Beginning well before 1600, the North American fur trade was the earliest global economic enterprise.Europeans and, later, Canadians and Americans, hunted and trapped furs; but success mandated that traders cultivate and maintain dense trade and alliance networks with Native nations.In quest of “soft gold” (beaver, otter, and other lightweight and highly valuable fine furs), which created fortunes large and small for lucky entrepreneurs, the fur hunters’ rosters included capable explorers who expanded the fur trade’s theater of operations and also shed light on western geography.Traders drafted many useful maps and wrote reports meant to help their governments secure geopolitical objectives.

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