FINAL ESSAY - In the early eighteenth century the number of...

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1 In the early eighteenth century, the number of First Nations peoples living in the fur trade posts was at an all time high. This was a result of the increasing amount of native women being married off to white European males that were officers in the fur trade. This was because in the early European expeditions for the fur trade did not include women. The native women that married fur traders were often abused by their husbands but still supplied the European husbands with vital necessities that were needed for a successful fur trade, until there were many contributing that led to the change in these marriage patterns. Many wives married fur traders and provided the males with a link to the native culture and a new way of life from the native perspective. The women were often abused both physically and emotionally from the husbands but continued to fill the void as wives until factors liked the Indian Act of 1867, increased levels of hostility and racism between the two groups reached a all time high had changed the marriage patterns of the fur trade. Once the marriage between the native women and the white male European fur traders was official, there were many necessities for the fur trade that the native women had accomplished after the marriages had taken place. The first thing that the native women did was the actual act of marrying the fur traders. The scarcity of women in the British colonies was at a all time high. European men need companionship and the native women were there and could fill the need that the men in the fur trade needed to be fulfilled. The actual marriage customs that were followed in the marriage ceremonies was known as a la facon du pays , which meant when native women and European men married and there would be a mixture of both European and native cultures 1 . At the times of the early eighteenth century, there was a great scarcity of women, the women were needed to be present because of the
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importance of the women’s work. The women were responsible for the overall survival of the household and this also at this time was seen as one of the sole means of support for women. This meant that most women wanted to marry 2 . This meant that both men and women wanted to marry in order for success in everyday life and to fill the overall gender roles of that this society placed on men and women. When European men started to look for wives, it was first from the Cree native group that the European males decided to first take wives from for the officer’s wives in the trading posts 3 . This was mainly attributed from the North Wets Company. There was one chief difference between the marriage practices in the fur trade and the everyday occurrences in Europe. This change was the fact that unlike in Europe, women were in such high demand, that any available women were often married at a very young age from the native bands, even women that were widowed or abandoned that had returned to their bands were often quickly married again to another fur trader. This
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This essay was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course HIST 210? taught by Professor Jaeger during the Spring '08 term at Wilfred Laurier University .

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FINAL ESSAY - In the early eighteenth century the number of...

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