StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

The Impact of the Fur Trade on Aboriginals in Canada during the 1600-1800s - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
The Impact of the Fur Trade on Aboriginals in Canada during the 1600-1800s

Aboriginals desired metal and cloth goods while the Europeans needed meat and furs. Trading between Aboriginal and Europeans would likely have remained relatively small-scale, if it had not been for a new fashion trend in Europe that fuelled the demand for beaver pelts (Office of the Treaty of Commissioner, 2). The high demand for quality pelts to make wide-brimmed hats created an industry based on beaver fur. The fur trade would dominate Aboriginal-European relations for the next 250 years.
The impact of the fur trade on Aboriginal communities would have both positive and negative consequences. This paper seeks to examine the social, cultural, economic, and health related impacts of the fur trade on Aboriginal communities living in the Hudson Bay, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region during the 1600-1800s. Through an examination of the history and development of the fur trade, this paper will demonstrate that while Aboriginal communities gained some benefits from the fur trade, their communities suffered adverse affects that created a dependency on European settlers and contributed to the marginalized state of Aboriginal communities today.
The trading of furs, metal and cloth between European fishermen and coastal Aboriginal communities had been occurring on a small-scale since early in the 16th century. European fishermen found a lucrative market for these furs in Europe where the demand was high. Historically, Europeans had bought their furs from Russia and the northern countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia) through trading centers established in Belgium and Holland. However, in the mid-1600s a fashion trend emerged that would dominate the European market for the next 250 years. King Charles II began wearing felt hats surfaced with beaver fur, fuelling the desire for beaver fur throughout the continent (Calverley, 1). By the time this trend had taken root, the beaver was facing extinction in Europe. Beaver hat manufactures and traders had to find alternative sources of beaver fur and set their sails for North America.

In North America, Aboriginals had been employing beaver fur for use as blankets and cloaks for centuries. Aboriginals traditionally wore their beaver cloaks inside out - with the fur closest to their bodies.. The wearing of the fur resulted in a soft pelt that could be easily (and cheaply) manufactured into the coveted beaver hats. The value of the beaver in the North American fur trade was indisputable and it became the fur of choice until the late 19th century, thereafter the market opened to include other types of fur as well (The Oxford Companion to Canadian History, 1).

Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Aboriginal groups had been engaged in small-scale trading throughout the continent. They did not possess a monetary system of exchange and rather traded in common units of value rather than cash. Once the Europeans arrived and the fur trade began, the beaver played an important role in creating a system of "currency" that could be employed in trade negotiations. In fact, the beaver was "the staple of the trade in most areas east of the Pacific coast until the mid 19th century [and] became the accounting and battering standard. Traders valued furs and ...Show more


The Fur trade was the earliest and most important industry in Canada's development. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Aboriginal Canadians had been hunting and living off the land in relative isolation for thousands of years. In the 16th century, European fishermen arrived to take advantage of the rich fishing waters off the coast of Newfoundland and the Gulf of St…
Author : zcruickshank
The Impact of the Fur Trade on Aboriginals in Canada during the 1600-1800s essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"The Impact of the Fur Trade on Aboriginals in Canada during the 1600-1800s"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Aboriginals and the Fur Trade
Aboriginals and the Fur Trade Name Tutor 22.11.2011 Introduction: The Canadian aboriginals were the native Indians living in North America and mostly involved in the fur trade with the Europeans. Before the aboriginals began trading with the Europeans in the 17th and 18th century, they had their own cultural system which was interfered with by the Europeans who invaded their territory.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Free Trade during Colonialism vs. Free Trade during Globalization
Free trade during colonialism and free trade during globalization have lot of similarities and differences in principles and practices. It should be noted that during colonialism, colonial powers encouraged free trade to safeguard their interests alone whereas at present or during globalization period, free trade is encouraged by all countries because of its potentials to rejuvenate the economy of countries irrespective of rich or poor.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
: The history of the Canadian Fur Trade and the effects it had on the Native community
Similarly, the French, from their colonial base of New France in the St. Lawrence Valley, searched westward for a passage to China and discovered instead a potential fur trade that would dominate the economy of their North American colony. Just before the establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company by the British in 1670, the geographical information obtained by explorers searching for the Pacific was joined with economic data on the fur trade.
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Native american and the fur trade
What the Europeans imparted to the Native American population collectively were four basic things: disease, guns, alcohol and horses. Of these four, the introduction of the horse was the most beneficial to Native Americans. It was also, perhaps, one of the most culturally altering events for the American Indians.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Globalization and Canada. Globalization and free trade
Free flow of capital in and out of Canada,free trade and the existence of multinational companies have together linked Canada to the rest of the world's economies.In addition, Canada has become a part of continental integration through the North American Free Trade Agreement
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
The Canadian Fur Trade
Similarly, the French, from their colonial base of New France in the St. Lawrence Valley, searched westward for a passage to China and discovered instead a potential fur trade
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
The impact of European settlement on Aboriginal people in Canada
As European settlement took place in Canada, the natives were swept aside and forced to move to different areas as changes in the use of land show us (Schneider, 1996). Of course such changes did not come immediately from European contact since the contact
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The Adverse Effects the Canadian Fur Trade had on the Aboriginal People: 1600-1800
Lawrence. The nature of the fishing trade required long periods onshore which necessitated maintaining good relations with the local Aboriginal communities (The Canadian
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Women in conquest and colonial Society Ej Malinche (Mexico) Pochahontas (USA) ....... (Canada/fur trade society)
Though society at that time was not patriarchal or male dominated, many of these women were sold as slaves by their men folk or used as tradeoffs to bring in certain favors and privileges for the tribal groups. They later flowered, even if for a brief period, within these
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Aboriginals and the Fur Trade
After mixing with the invaders an indigenous culture was created. The Canadian aboriginals survived mostly on the fur trade with the Europeans that enabled them to get iron tools like knives to facilitate hunting and household
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us