The fur trade between Natives and the Europeans sparked new relationships between the natives and the Europeans. Amongst the natives were the Indians whose involvement in the trade led to the borrowing of cultural aspects from the Europeans. The same happened to the Europeans in that they borrowed the same from the Indians. It all started in form of trade but other developments started to take shape where the Indians and the Europeans had to share more than the goods of trade. Among the shared things that resulted form this trade are lifestyles, dress codes and traditions. With traditions being exchanged, social dynamics of the involved parties took a new direction. The direction was headed the direction of reliance where one party could hardly do trade effectively with the other without the application of one aspect of the other. It was not commitment to the trade that brought about these aspects of the life to the spotlight but the importance of them .
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Fur trade between the American natives and the Europeans took place with French being the European representatives. The colonial practices of the French didn’t seem to impress the natives so the French were the ones who benefited more from this trade. Fur trade amongst the Americans, French and the rest of the world, involved more than the practice of trade. The cultural and the customary values were used as the neutral points of the trade. The use of the neutral; points in the fur trade was provide by the overlook of social differences. By overlooking the differences between the social statuses of the involved parties, a neutral point was created where the parties set all their differences aside and did business without them. The role of this point was to scrap unfavorable factors out of the way of trade. By doing so, the involved parties which included the Americans, French, Indians, and Canadians discovered that they could accommodate the diversity of each other in terms of culture. The French borrowed from the Indians whileAmerican exchanged what the French had gotten from the Indians with what they had.(Bruce). With this in, what role did the fur trade play in determining the dynamics of the relationship between Natives and Europeans?
Social Dynamics of the Natives and the Europeans Brought About By the Fur Trade
The fur trade is one of the ancient trades that drew a lot of cultures together. The Europeans seemed to be the major beneficiaries of this trade in that many other countries from across the continents usually contacted business around Europe. Given the power of the Europeans and the ability they had to colonize many other countries, what the Europeans learnt from those other countries was transferred to other countries which these Europeans had trade with. In the colonial frontier, fur trade was the main element of interactions that brought with it sociocultural and economical relationships between the players in this trade (Cook 59).
Material culture was the main aspect of trade that transformed material trade to cultural trade. The natives exchanged fur and fish as raw materials for objective commodities like axes and kettles. The material culture didn’t just mean that the Europeans would only use fish or fur as raw materials only. This is because the trade was not a swift one were exchange would take place in one particular moment. Besides trade, what fur and fish was used for by the natives was borrowed by the Europeans. The same applies to the natives; what they got from the Europeans was used for their own purposes including those that the Europeans used it for. Social dynamics from this point came through to the native in that they would dismantle the kettles and use it as scrap metal as smith’s raw material. This brought diversity to the trade in that natives would exchange materials made from the scrap metal for materials made from fur by the Europeans (Maryy, et al. 77).
Indians for example are very sensitive about their culture and they embrace their culture in every way possible. The fur trade came from the top to the bottom. This is true in that, Canadians and Americans’ fur would be traded for metal and other metallic objects. During these transactions the neutral points I’ve spoken about earlier in this paper were set. The Europeans learnt some cultural aspects from Americans and the Canadians. After obtaining the fur, Europeans invested in textile industry and this sparked new markets for fur products. The Indians being involved in this trade form a different perspective of bringing in ointments and ornamental products. In exchange to this, they got finished products made from fur. The social dynamic of at point of the trade is that sophistication was brought to India through the fur trade.
Prior to, during, and after the World War II, fur trade had turned things around in Europe. The effect of the fur trade is that it was the main reason many textile industries were opened all around the globe in the rapidly growing economies. Fashion designing is an aspect of art that was made possible by the fur trade. Fashion designing was originally a thing of the Europeans in which clothing and beauty amenities made from fur were made to replace the boring and unattractivePre-World War II garments. Fashion designing is not the only thing that sparked new realizations in other nations but the fact that other nations caught in the fur trade emulated the new doors of trade presented to them by the trade. Emulation was in form of modification of the fashions in which India for its side exploited the opportunity and developed her textile industry. Today Europe is the home for most of the most famous fashion designers; India has the biggest textile industry in the world while USA and Canada provide the biggest market for fur products (Quimby 80).
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