The Native Americans And Merchants

1305 Words Oct 10th, 2014 6 Pages
From Trading to Disaster
Through reading this book I have discovered how well the Native Americans and merchants actually got along, early on. The Natives in the coastal villages had started trading with merchants early on in primitive, yet intelligent ways. Giovanni da Verrazzano reported, “They sent us what they wanted to give us on a rope continually shouting to us not to approach the land.” (Cronon 83) He also reported how the Native Americans would only meet them on very rocky tracts of coast where they could not land. Was this lack of trust warranted, or just foolish woe?
According to Verrazzano, “No greater good could come to them than to have our friendship.” (Cronon 83) This suggest that the merchants, and colonists, want to help the natives with trade. The hunters in the region discovered early on that the natives had valuable items to trade such as furs, which were in high demand in Europe at the time. “In response to European demand, tribes such as the Iroquois began to devote more attention to fur trapping during the 17th century.” (Colonial-Indian Relations) The Indians had lived in these trade regions long before the colonists moved in on the territory.
Trading with the colonists also introduced the Native Americans involved in “alien” consumer markets, which introduced them to products such as metal knives and whiskey. This was a huge hit with the Natives who, as stated above, increased their trapping of small animals to keep up with the demand of the…
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