American Fur Trading Case

Topics: Fur trade, Beaver, Fur Pages: 2 (489 words) Published: September 30, 2014
1. How did the environment of the American Fur Co change in 1830s? What deep historical forces are implicated in these changes?

Going into the 1830s, Astor basically had a monopoly in the fur company. He destroyed competitors by underbidding for furs and debauching the Indians with alcohol. In the 1830s, demand for beaver was falling, as the fashion trends that made every European and American gentleman want a beaver hat waned. Silk hats took over. Also, new ways of felting hats without using fibrous underhair from beaver pelts had developed, and nutria pelts from South America were entering the market. Worldwide choler epidemic hit and people though the disease was spread on transported furs. Beaver populations were depleted. Companies against Astor tried to eliminate beavers to keep his company from spreading. To find more beavers they moved into unfriendly Indian territory and many men were killed Buffalo robes took over

Price of beaver pelts dropped

2. Who were the most important stakeholders of the 19th century fur industry? Were they treated responsibly by the standards of the day? By the standards of today?

Stakeholders
American Indians
Fur trade business owners
Fur trade workers
U.S. government
Settlers
Treated responsibly by the standards of the day?
Yes
At this time business was only concerned with profits, they honestly probably didn’t realize the ecological harm they were causing and the dramatic impact they were having on Indian populations The danger of working for the fur trade companies was just seen as a risk of the job, there weren’t really any labor regulations No

Astor exploited everyone possible including Indians, his workers, and the government He cut his workers’ wages and made them pay ridiculously high prices for goods he got much cheaper in different parts of the countries Didn’t listen to the government when they said he couldn’t bring alcohol into territories Exploited the beliefs of Indians to gain...
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