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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents concluding remarks regarding the book North America's Indian Trade in European Commerce and Imagination, 1580-1850, which analyzes Europe's growing fascination with the North American Indian trade between the early periods of contact and colonization, through to the nineteenth century. The book elaborates the way that Europe intellectually and imaginatively apprehended its trading fringes. Commerce raised the morale and civilité of the savage; it bonded Indian with European; it linked metropolitan capital with colonial correspondents; and it subjugated in a new material dependency all peoples across the European's known world, a commercial and inviting oecumene. The book suggests ways that scholars can at least approach descriptions of trade and commerce in American contact zones. Many eighteenth century descriptions suggest that contemporary mindsets tended to describe Indians as "consumers" or as "entrepreneurs".

Keywords: colonization; European Commerce; Indian trade; North America



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