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Fur Trade in Wisconsin. Main Idea Notes on the Wisconsin Fur Trade. White Men Coming to WI. Priests – conversion to Catholicism Explorers – natural resources/trade route east (Asia ) Had heard and seen gold/riches coming back with the Spanish so the French too were intrigued.

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fur trade in wisconsin

Fur Trade in Wisconsin

Main Idea Notes on the Wisconsin Fur Trade

white men coming to wi
White Men Coming to WI
  • Priests – conversion to Catholicism
  • Explorers – natural resources/trade route east (Asia)
    • Had heard and seen gold/riches coming back with the Spanish so the French too were intrigued.
  • Jean Nicolet (1634)
    • Interacted with the Native tribes he encountered – wanted to make peace with them
    • Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Potawatomi
french and indian
French and Indian
  • Became trade partners
    • French learned their language and culture
    • Metis – French and Indian babies
    • Traded furs for European goods
      • Improved Indian farming
      • Helped hunters
        • Native philosophy: the creator brings the animal to an individual as a gift and the animal willingly sacrifices its life so the person may eat and be clothed – regardless European goods improved efficiency
disadvantages for the indians
Disadvantages for the Indians
  • Had to meet the demand (almost impossible)
  • Depletion of resources
    • Hunting parties from one tribe move into hunting grounds of neighboring tribes = conflict
    • Tribes split and spread out – altering the sense of community.
    • Male hunters were absent from families for long periods of time – women adopted male tasks.
      • Women were not asked for advice as much as they used to; tribes became more male dominated (Americanization)
    • Introduction of alcohol
      • No tolerance and quickly became addicted.
      • Fur trade depleted natural resources, and Indian communities suffered great loss due to European diseases, many became impoverished = turned to alcohol to forget their problems.
british arrive
British Arrive
  • 1740s – British traders arrived and challenged the French (French and Indian War)
    • British defeated the French in 1759 (took over the fur trade)
      • WI Indians resented this – French understood the Native practice of gift-giving and good relations
      • British used fear tactics and threats (tyranny)
pontiac s rebellion 1763
Pontiac’s Rebellion 1763
  • Pontiac organized Indian groups of the Western Great Lakes in a rebellion against the British (no Menominee or Ho-Chunk)
  • Captured many British forts but could not hold onto them.
  • British passed the Proclamation of 1763 – forbade colonists from settling west of the Appalachians (largely ignored)
  • Reintroduction of the French practice of gift-giving, relaxing the restrictions on selling guns and ammunition to tribes.
after the american revolution
After the American Revolution
  • American government took control of the fur trade (government-run posts)
    • Did not work as the old system continued to be utilized under the table.
  • Americans didn’t know how to cultivate relationships with WI Indians
    • Charged high prices for their hunting supplies (impoverishing the natives more)
  • Freely traded alcohol for furs (alcohol abuse)
  • 1830s – population of some fur bearing animals were dwindling.
    • Beaver were nearly extinct/once fashionable was now out of style.
    • Lumber was the next go to, until deforestation took its toll on those resources
    • Predominantly lead mining became popular in parts of WI – other resources were mined as well.
    • Lead prices dropped = miners turned to farming
      • Rich soil brought settlers to WI (wanted land – Native land)