Indian Fur Trade History

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The Pacific Northwest is a geographical region in the northwestern United states that consists of the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The region is known for its technology, environment, and culture diversity. When Europeans and white Americans discovered the Northwest, they made claims over the land and succeeded in claiming the Northwest from the British and the Spanish. The arrival of the British led to major changes in the Northwest such as the fur trade and to relationships with the Native Americans through marriages. The arrival of the Americans in the mid-1800s led to changes in the environment such as farming, logging, and fishing. The Northwest grew, and its population increased as many people began to come to the Northwest.…show more content…
The foundation of the fur trade business guaranteed the permanent presence of the white men in creation of economic growth. The fur trade was a powerful industry and it reshaped the Northwest and shaped the relationship of the Whites and the Indians. As the relationship between the whites and the Indians grew, it created the Mixed world. Throughout history the fur trade provides a clear demonstration of how a form of production could influence the development of an economy and a country’s social, cultural, and political institutions. George Simpson, governor of the Hudson Bay Company, mostly focused on the development of a social and political relationship with the Native Americans. The white traders used a language to facilitate trade with the Native Americans called the Chinook jargon. The Chinook language developed their social relationship through the trading of their goods and the exchange of gifts. The political relationship that they developed between the Natives’ was developed through marriage, “these alliances being formed solely on political considerations when presents are exchanged according to the means of the parties” (George Simpson 135). Simpson’s goal was to improve the profit and the economic status for the Hudson’s Bay Company by developing a mutually beneficial relationship with native…show more content…
The beginning of the white American settlement led to major changes in the relationship between Indians and whites. The mixed world dissolved, and it created new social boundaries in federal government policies and in redefining social boundaries at local levels. The creating of social boundaries changed the economy in the northwest as the dual labor system emerged. In Richard White’s essay, The Organic machine, he demonstrates how the new American culture organized energy in different ways, mainly using steam and coal power, which changed the human-river relationship that had been established for centuries. White discussed how the White men were not working with the river but forcing it to yield the products of its energy in a manner that fit their needs. These new machines “created new opportunities for labor” (32). These new opportunities also led to divisions by race, class, and gender as different workers—Chinese, white laborers, and women, etc. —were given different places on the river and differing access to power. Immigrants such as the Chinese were hired only for laboring purposes due to their race to fulfill the jobs that White men would not do. Indians as well were affected by this social and racial organization. They had signed many treaties with the White men to give them the
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