The Origins and Patterns of Development for the New World Essay example

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Contact between the Old World and the New World forever changed the course of history. This confluence began a number of very impactful trends, many of which had intercontinental effects. As the two worlds collided European countries fought for control of newfound areas in the New World. Additionally, this time period saw the beginning of the exchange of commodities across both sides of the Atlantic. These two things, imperial competition and transatlantic trade, influenced the origins and patterns of development of North American societies in the colonial period. Trade affected the birth and development of the British colonies in America. In the case of the first colony, Virginia, trade was at the heart of its survival. When Virginia was …show more content…

Virginia is a great example of how even at its very beginnings, trade was what allowed the colonies in America to begin and thrive. In many cases though, trade has had negative effects, because very often trade and competition are closely connected. Such was the case during the mid-seventeenth century in America. Around this time, a conflict between the French and the English arose over beaver furs, dramatically affecting the native Indian populations of eastern North America. Indians in North America would trade Europeans beaver furs, which the Europeans wanted because beaver furs were both warm and waterproof. The best land for beaver furs was between the land of the French-allied Algonquin and the English-allied Iroquois. Because arming troops and sending them to the New World would be very expensive, the French and the English fought over these desirable beaver furs vicariously, that is, through the Indians living in North America. Thus to gain control of the beaver furs, the French and the English pitted the Indian tribes of the region against each other. During these aptly named Beaver Wars, the English armed the Iroquois in order to give them an advantage, and also sold them alcohol. In doing so, they considerably affected Indian society. A major component of the change in Indian society came as a result of the guns given to the Indians. These guns led to a vicious cycle: prior to this point very few people

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