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Comparison of Iroquois & California Indians

In the northeast the most significant economic interaction took place prior to hegemonic domination. The Indians of the northeast were hunters whose skills in capturing game made the introduction of trade an essential interaction between colonizer and colonized. Early impact consisted, therefore, of a combination of driving Native Americans from some traditional lands but of inducing others to exploit their land to the point of depletion in order to satisfy the demands of the European fur trade. For the Iroquois (and other groups) trade was desirable because the exchange offered them goods such as tools and weapons to which they had no other means of access. This trade induced a degree of dependence among the Indians, but it was unsuccessful in transferring the colonizer's economic ethic to them. Where the acquisition of goods was, among Europeans, a good in itself, the Indians (no matter how dependent they became or perceived themselves to be) did not want more than they needed. Raising the price for a fur, for instance, from one gun to two meant that the Europeans received fewer furs because the Iroquois still only needed the same number of guns. Attached to this conservative approach to trade was an even more conservative approach to resources. To deplete the land of the animals that were their capital would have been foolish


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Comparison of Iroquois & California Indians. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 09:25, October 25, 2014, from
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