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Report The Fur Trade of the American West Written by David J. Wishart - Book Report/Review Example

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Name: Professor: Course: Date: The Fur Trade of the American West: A Geographical Synthesis David J. Wishart endeavors to illustrate in detail, the lucrative venture that was the fur trade in the West. Commencing from the 1810’s through to the 1840’s, fur continued to be the main economic stimulus for many western powers…
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Book Report The Fur Trade of the American West Written by David J. Wishart
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"Report The Fur Trade of the American West Written by David J. Wishart"

Download file to see previous pages The trapping was carried out by young men in their twenties and thirties. Many of them were married despite the trader’s preference of unmarried men. These men mostly originated from rural regions of the Midwest, Canada and the Upper South (Wishart 263). Guided by unknown reasons and ambitions, the trappers and traders had set up a system that would go down into history as a phenomenal one. According to Wishart, the fur trade was initially a form of exchange trade of the American continent between explorers and the natives. The natives desired metal implements such as knives while the sailors were interested in the fine fur. The fur was obtained mainly from differently animals, mainly buffalo (Wishart 55). Other animals such as beaver, deer, skunk, sea otters and even bears were also used as a source of fur. Nearly two decades before the development of the Rocky Mountain Trapping system, the fur trade had been formed on the upper Missouri. The great plains in the north were considerably reachable from St. Louis through the Missouri river. In addition, the American fur trade could be applied in this place. The Indians manufactured the fur which was then exchanged with other goods at the trading venues. The trade at this place was thus mainly Indian. With the fur trade, came important events. In 1834, John Jacob Astor, who was the founder of the Pacific Fur Company, the largest American fur trading company, left the business after realization of the diminishing fur resources. This was brought about by expansion of the European communities which displaced the native hunting communities. In addition, in about the same time, the European fashion industry had shifted immensely from dependence on fur. This led to reduced demands for this product. In his book, Wishart also cites 1790 as the year which the Indian Intercourse Act was passed. This act was aimed at regulating trade with the Native Americans. This move followed the independence of America. Wishart describes the fur trade as an intricate system that was carefully coordinated. The economic impact of Fur Trade at the Upper Missouri spread all the way from the Indian manufacturers residing on the Great Plains in the North, to the workshops and marketplaces of the eastern region of the United States and Europe (Wishart 175). Though the communication lines were prolonged, they were not strong enough. Travelling form St Louis to Fort union by a steam boat took almost two months. The transportation of mails or letters to New York from St Louis took several weeks. In 1836, the whole voyage between Liverpool and New York took an average of fifty six days. There was no trade in the winter season and the business venues were inaccessible. According to Wishart, the fur trade was as intricate as modern day trade. A crucial factor was the reliance on market information to do trade. Detailed information, such as on estimates of production, and exchange rates were often exchanged between the players in the industry. Similar to the upper Missouri Fur Trade, the Rocky Mountain trapping system was almost a complete production network. This is so because it was characterized by a unique infrastructure which was linked through St Louis. St. Louis was the chief control point from which the fur bazaars and the sources of materials and equipment in the eastern United States and Europe revolved. Wishart also describes the trading system as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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