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Interactions between Europeans and Native Americans differed by location, and members of each nation formed relationships with Indians in a variety of ways, depending on a variety of economic, social, and political factors. Although we should be aware of this diversity, there are some generalizations that can be made. Because of variations in faith, agricultural activity, accommodation, dress, and other characteristics that Europeans perceived as indicating Native American inferiority, few Europeans considered Native Americans to be their equals. The French, Spanish, and Dutch, on the other hand, wanted to make money by trading and exploiting New World resources, and they knew that the native people would be crucial to their success. Native Americans were also to be converted to Christianity by Europeans. As a result, the dynamics of European and indigenous American relationships were primarily influenced by economic benefit and religion.
Spain, the most dominant empire in Europe and the Americas, desired to benefit from the natural wealth of the New World. The Spanish marched into North America after enslaving indigenous peoples in the Caribbean and the southern parts of the Americas to cultivate crops and mine for gold, silver, and other valuables. They focused their efforts in what is now the southwestern and southeastern United States. Spain founded a military post at San Augustn (now St. Augustine) in Florida, for example, but only a small number of Spaniards settled there. The Guale and Timucuan peoples were baptized and transformed into farmers by Catholic missionaries who worked hard to convert the Indians to Christianity. Also the most cooperative Indians maintained their own religious and cultural practices, and many priests believed that the Indians were inferior and unable to comprehend Christianity. Over the course of the seventeenth century, indigenous communities collapsed as a result of epidemics introduced by the Spanish, which killed a significant number of natives. Throughout the Spanish colonial era, San Augustn remained a small outpost, a kind of multicultural crossroads where indigenous peoples came to trade with Spaniards and intermarriage between Spaniards and American Indian women was normal.
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The Middle Ground is a critically acclaimed book and widely recognized classic that goes beyond the simplistic tales of Indian-white ties – stories of conquest, assimilation, and cultural persistence. Instead, it’s about finding common ground and common meaning. It describes how Europeans and Indians first met, seeing each other as foreign, other, and almost nonhuman.
The Middle Ground is a critically acclaimed book and widely recognized classic that goes beyond the simplistic tales of Indian-white ties – stories of conquest, assimilation, and cultural persistence. Instead, it’s about finding common ground and common meaning. It describes how Europeans and Indians met, each seeing the other as foreign, other, and almost nonhuman, and how, between 1650 and 1815, they built a shared, mutually comprehensible world in the area around the Great Lakes known to the French as pays d’en haut. The older worlds of the Algonquians and various Europeans collided here, resulting in the creation of new systems of sense and trade. Finally, the book describes the disintegration of accommodation and traditional definitions, as well as the re-creation of Indians as foreign and exotic beings.
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Chicago was a trade crossroads during the late pre-Columbian period, according to oral tradition. Many people traveled through the area, according to artifacts, bringing trade goods from Mississippian settlements to the south or copper from Lake Superior, but these travelers were most likely itinerant traders or small groups of hunters harvesting the region’s rich fauna. Within the first decade of the eighteenth century, the Miamis left their Chicago villages and migrated to the Maumee and Wabash Valleys in Indiana, while the Illinois stopped hunting in the region and moved down the Illinois Valley toward the Mississippi. Meanwhile, hunters from Michigan and Wisconsin began to hunt in the Chicago area, but no permanent settlements were founded due to the ongoing conflict between the French and the Foxes in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin until the late 1730s. The Potawatomis, on the other hand, established a permanent settlement on the Chicago River in the 1740s, and Ottawas and Chippewas followed them within a decade. These three tribes built mixed settlements along the Des Plaines and Kankakee rivers, eventually driving the Illinois out of the Lake Peoria area, which the Potawatomis had controlled before the American Revolution.
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The fur trade is a global industry that deals with the purchase and selling of animal fur. Furs from boreal, polar, and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valuable since the development of a global fur market in the early modern century. The trade fostered the discovery and colonization of Siberia, northern North America, and the South Shetland and South Sandwich Islands in the past.
The fur trade’s importance has waned in recent years; it is now focused on pelts produced at fur farms and regulated fur-bearer trapping, but it has become contentious. The fur trade is opposed by animal rights groups because animals are violently slaughtered and even skinned alive.  Artificial imitations of fur have been used to replace fur in some garments, such as ruffs on parka hoods.