Fur Trade

Topics: Beaver, Fur trade, Fur Pages: 5 (2066 words) Published: October 4, 2010
The beavers are an extraordinary creature. They are an animal that is mostly nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent, and are of two different species. These two species are Castor Canadensis and Castor Fiber. They ate certain kinds of tree bark such as willows, maples, poplars, beeches, birches, alders, and aspens. Beavers have been known to erect dams eighteen feet high and four thousand feet long-radically altered ecosystems, creating ponds and changing stream flows. These were their homes, dams and canals made by them. Their homes were built near the food sources that they needed to survive. The existence and population of beavers were in very large numbers. They were considered a keystone species by ecologists. A keystone species are the animals at the top of the arch or food chain, also known as the predators. Another example of a keystone species are the wolves. When the wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone National Park they brought many animals back. These animals were birds, butterflies and also included the beavers. The beaver was an essentially important necessity in the 1500’s to the fur trade. The fur trade was a very important industry that sold the beavers for a certain part of their body and the rest of the body as well. It was the best fur for felting. The fur trade could also be known as the beaver trade. The Earliest fur traders were the French explorers and the fishermen. The fur trade started with the exchange of goods between the Europeans and the Native Americans. The Europeans, mainly the gentlemen, wanted fine hats. The Europeans tricked the Indians in trading them for the beavers for other various goods. The Native Americans thought of the beavers as only their source of food and a type of spiritual animal to them. They only used what they needed to survive. They did not want to wipe out their whole species. They knew better than to do that for it was in their religion, to respect all as one. But as they started to receive other types of goods in return of the beavers they had lost their way of thinking and their ways of religion. The beavers were being killed by the Native Americans even more than what was needed. There were many goods that were given to the Indians in return for the beaver. There was a type of bead that the Natives had fallen in love with and new that in order to get it from the Europeans it was going to cost a price. These prices were beavers. The bead was called wampumpeag or wampumpeag. It was made from the shells of whelks and quahogs. These beads became of some significance in a symbolically way. The Indians felt that by killing the animals and exchanging the beavers for wampum they could bolster their personal power and political prospects. Some other goods that were offered to the Indians were kettles, knives, and gifts. In doing these trades, the Europeans wanted to create some kind of relationship with the Natives, which of course had to be a friendly one. The fur trade was all over the United States and on into Canada. The fur trading industry played a major role in the development of the United States and Canada for more than 300 years. It has gone from the Europeans all the way into the new world. These new ways of commerce had changed the ways of the United States and Canada. The fur trade was what created the new world. The fur trade had made industries in the West. The reason for this development was the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific Ocean in 1850 and 1806. These industries had a lot of tough competition between each other. An example of this would be the three industries that competed with each other a lot in Missouri. They were the American Fur Company, RMF Company, and Bonneville. Some of the earliest industries were owned by John Jacob Astor, William H. Ashley, Pierre Chouteau, and Manuel Lisa. Throughout the many years of the fur trade it has been based mainly on the beavers. This was because...
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