The Effects of the Fur Trade on the European Colony and the Native Society Research Paper by EssayGenius

An explanation of how the fur trade benefited European colonists and traders while negatively affecting the native society of Canada.
# 145260 | 1,063 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2010 | CA

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This paper is an exploration of the effects the fur trade had on Europeans and the native people of Canada. The paper includes a perspective that illustrates how the fur trade proved to be quite beneficial for Europeans, but had the opposite effect on the native peoples of Canada: Although the Natives had long engaged in trade among various Aboriginal tribes, their trading relationship with the Europeans negatively altered their entire culture. The paper also includes several factors that proved to be detrimental for Native society such as an increased reliance on European goods, as well as the introduction and spread of disease through contact with European colonists and the aggravated tensions between neighboring nations over trading rights and dwindling beaver

From the Paper:

"The Aboriginal people of Canada had not "only traded with other tribes prior to the start of the fur trade, but ... had developed a code or set of conventions that governed the manner in which trade was conducted" . For them, trade was nothing new and at the outset, most "First Nations did not perceive the fur trade as posing any danger to their independence". This was a serious miscalculation by the Natives as their increased reliance on European goods changed everything from their diets to daily activities, changing their entire culture as they knew it. The "fur trade transformed the coastal groups from hunters and fishers into trappers"2 so that many tribes could no longer adequately collect food for the winter and had to depend instead on dried European goods. As "trade with the French increased, the Huron began to appreciate French goods and to want more of them"1. These goods included items such as metal awls, kettles and needles and other "luxury items, such as cloth and European beads".1 The main item that the French wanted was beaver pelts- which were in increasingly high demand in Europe- and it is because of this that the Huron most likely began "expanding their trade with the north at this time in order to secure these furs in larger quantities".1 These actions, "in turn, required the Native tribes to the North to spend more time trapping than focusing on some of their "day-to-day worries about survival.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Francis, R. Douglas, Richard Jones, and Donald B. Smith. Origins: Canadian History to 1867. 6th ed. Toronto: Nelson Education, 2009.
  • Francis, R. Douglas, and D. B. Smith, eds. Readings in Canadian History: Pre-Confederation. 7th ed. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2007.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

The Effects of the Fur Trade on the European Colony and the Native Society (2010, October 31) Retrieved December 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Effects of the Fur Trade on the European Colony and the Native Society" 31 October 2010. Web. 09 December. 2023. <>