Early American Civilizations and Exploration to 1600: Trade and Commerce Research Article from American Eras

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Transformation.

Trade in North America began to undergo a sweeping transformation during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries because of the arrival of European traders, explorers, and fishermen. For thousands of years subsistence-based Native American tribes had engaged in the local, reciprocal exchange of high-prestige luxury items. With the coming of European merchants and explorers in the decades after Christopher Columbus's discovery, however, the Indians of the Northeast began exchanging beaver furs for European manufactured goods. As a result they soon abandoned subsistence activities and became specialized participants in the early modern system of international trade. The Europeans also brought another, more violent form of commercial intercourse with them to the New World: predatory commerce through privateering raids in the waters off North America.

Precontact Trade.

Living for the most part in selfsufficient subsistence-based communities, precontact-era Indians did not need to trade...

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This section contains 649 words
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Buy the Early American Civilizations and Exploration to 1600: Trade and Commerce Encyclopedia Article
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