what were the effects of the fur trade on the economy ? (french regime period)?
what were the effects of the fur trade on the economy ? (french regime period)
- connieLv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
Because the fur is waterproof, beaver skins could be shaved and pressed into a pliable felt that kept the wearer both warm and dry. From Russia to the Riviera and across the American colonies, the preferred hats were made from beaver. The market for beaver was therefore immense and long lasting. A person who could supply beaver skins to cities in Europe and America could grow rich.
Merchants in Montreal therefore imported products that Indian hunters wanted, and demanded beaver skins in return. Imported trade goods included metal knives, awls and kettles, steel flints for starting fires, guns and ammunition, alcohol (which, though officially prohibited, was supplied steadily through the black market), woven woolen blankets, and porcelain beads for jewelry. These trade goods would be shipped into the interior for storage in regional warehouses in settlements such as Michilimackinac, on the strait between Lakes Huron and Michigan, and then redistributed to smaller trading posts at Green Bay, Prairie du Chien, and LaPointe on Madeline Island.
In the fall, traders would advance guns, ammunition, and other supplies to Indian hunters on credit, and in the spring the hunters would return to pay off their bills in furs-a system that kept most Indian hunters in permanent debt to their French employers. The traders would pack large canoes with thousands of pounds of pelts for the trip back to Montreal, and beavers caught in Milwaukee or Minocqua would end up on the heads of customers in Paris or London. Military garrisons were established throughout the Great Lakes to make sure that trade goods came in and pelts went out with as little interruption as possible.