Why did the Fur trade develop in North America?

1 Answer
Nov 13, 2016

Europeans were financed by investors who wanted to make big money from the new world. Furs are one of the things that paid the expenses and generated profits.


The Native Americans in the Spanish colonies gathered together gold in the form art and religious works. The Spanish were able to loot the gold and send it home in the form of ingots. In what is modern day Bolivia the Spanish found, literally, a mountain of Silver. Investors really wanted to connect with similar finds in North America. They were mostly disappointed.

Furs were something that were able to develop a market in Europe early on. Samuel de Champlain's explorations and settlements were paid for by Fur sales. Other non luxury goods such as lumber, and alike natural resources became important later but the Fur trade really paid the bills. The local natives could be persuaded to get furs for the Europeans and be given in exchange common inexpensive household items like iron pots, axes, and beads. Tobacco, like coffee and chocolate farther South, was to become important but this needed a market of consumers to develop in Europe.