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1786-1846. The Fur Trade Era. Students will understand the economic and political impact of the Fur Trade Era . The purpose for exploration changed from a scientific purpose to an economic purpose. People were interested in the natural resources of the region.
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1786-1846 The Fur Trade Era
Students will understand the economic and political impact of the Fur Trade Era. • The purpose for exploration changed from a scientific purpose to an economic purpose. • People were interested in the natural resources of the region. • Land based fur traders entered the area (Land based traders did not use ships) • The fur trade “initiated the gradual process of white settlement in Washington.” • Both Great Britain and the US had strong claims to the area. There was competition to see who could gain political control of the region during this time. • What was the economic and political impact of the 1786-1846 Fur Trade Era in the Pacific Northwest? Learning Goals
The Fur Trading Industry Fur Trappers were people who trapped fur bearing animals for their pelts. A pelt is the skin and fur of a dead animal. These are coyote pelts that have been stretched and hung to dry.
Which Furs Were in Demand? Beaver Pelts (above) were used for hats and coats. The Sea otter (above right) and the river otter (below right) were highly prized as well. They were sold throughout the U.S., Asia, and Europe.
The Role of Native Americans Indians in the area had been trapping animals for thousands of years. Fur was important to their lives so they were good at it, and only trapped what they needed. Indians often taught the trappers the skills they needed to be successful Only Indian trappers worked in Washington until the early 1800s. That was when white trappers moved into the region. These trappers trapped as much as they could, because they worked for profit.
Fur Trading Companies • There were four major fur trading companies operating in the Pacific Northwest • The Northwest Fur Company • The Pacific Fur Company • The Hudson’s Bay Company • The Rocky Mountain Fur Company
A British fur company that operated in Canada. Many were former employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company The Northwest Fur Company not only employed trappers, but also employed explorers who charted unfamiliar territory. This helped the expand their business. The explorers were looking for the Columbia River, so they could claim it. The Northwest Fur Company
Two explorers were Alexander Mackenzie and David Thompson. The Northwest Fur Company • Alexander Mackenzie failed to find the Columbia River, but he did find the Mackenzie River in 1789, and the Upper Frasier River, and the Bella Coola River in 1793. David Thompson discovered the source of the Columbia River in 1807. He mapped most of the Columbia River and its tributaries. As a result he strengthened British claims to the Pacific Northwest. No known portraits of Thompson exist. Portraits were drawn based on word of mouth descriptions of the people who knew him.
In the 1800s John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant to the U.S. founded the Pacific Fur Company. Astor’s company built forts at the mouth of the Columbia. The Pacific Fur Company lasted three years. In 1813 Astor sold it to the Northwest Fur Company. This weakened U.S. claims to the region. The Pacific Fur Company
The Hudson’s Bay Company Merged with the Northwest Fur Company in 1821. • They monopolized the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest until 1846. • Hudson’s Bay Company also acted as an agent of the British Government. • Hudson’s Bay Company wanted to strengthen British Claims to the Pacific Northwest. • They tried to do this by keeping American fur traders out of the region. Hudson’s Bay Company
They were unable to keep Americans out. Dr. John McLoughlin realized this was impossible. He encouraged Americans to trap and settle south of the Columbia River. He tried to keep the areas north of the Columbia River for the British. Hudson’s Bay Company
The Rocky Mountain Fur Company operated differently than the other companies. • They did not build forts • They were more loosely organized • They relied on Mountain Men • They held a rendezvous once a year to collect all of the furs from the trappers and mountain men. The Rocky Mountain Fur Company
The mountain men contributed to the exploration of the country, especially the Rocky Mountains. • They discovered the best routes, passes, settlement sites, and natural resources. • They Discovered the South Pass in the Rocky Mountains through which wagon trains could pass. This was the very first beginnings of the Oregon Trail. The Rocky Mountain Fur Company
The Fur Trade Era impacted the Pacific Northwest in several ways: • The purpose for exploration changed from a scientific purpose to an economic purpose. • People were interested in the natural resources of the region and made plans to use them. • Land based fur traders entered the area (Land based traders did not use ships) The Impact of the Fur trade Era
Both Great Britain and the US had strong claims to the area. There was competition to see who could gain political control of the region during this time. • The fur trade “initiated the gradual process of white settlement in Washington” which later became a mass migration of Europeans to the area. The Impact of the Fur Trade Era
The Fur trade Era was not good for everyone. • Guns and alcohol were introduced to Native Americans. • New diseases brought by trappers killed thousands of Indians because they were not immune to them. • The trappers disrupted the lifestyle and culture of the Native Americans. The Impact of the Fur Trade Era