The Character and Influence of the Indian Trade in Wisconsin, a Study of the Trading Post as an Institution
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By Frederick Jackson Turner 24 Jan, 2019
FROM THE INTRODUCTION..........The trading post is an old and influential institution. Established in the midst of an undeveloped society by a more advanced people, it is a center not only of new economic influences, but also of all the transforming ... Read more
FROM THE INTRODUCTION..........The trading post is an old and influential institution. Established in the midst of an undeveloped society by a more advanced people, it is a center not only of new economic influences, but also of all the transforming forces that accompany the intercourse of a higher with a lower civilization. The Phœnicians developed the institution into a great historic agency. Closely associated with piracy at first, their commerce gradually freed itself from this and spread throughout the Mediterranean lands. A passage in the Odyssey (Book XV.) enables us to trace the genesis of the Phœnician trading post: "Thither came the Phœnicians, mariners renowned, greedy merchant-men with countless trinkets in a black ship.... They abode among us a whole year, and got together much wealth in their hollow ship. And when their hollow ship was now laden to depart, they sent a messenger.... There came a man versed in craft to my father's house with a golden chain strung here and there with amber beads. Now, the maidens in the hall and my lady mother were handling the chain and gazing on it and offering him their price." It would appear that the traders at first sailed from port to port, bartering as they went. After a time they stayed at certain profitable places a twelvemonth, still trading from their ships. Then came the fixed factory, and about it grew the trading colony. The Phœnician trading post wove together the fabric of oriental civilization, brought arts and the alphabet to Greece, brought the elements of civilization to northern Africa, and disseminated eastern culture through the Mediterranean system of lands. It blended races and customs, developed commercial confidence, fostered the custom of depending on outside nations for certain supplies, and afforded a means of peaceful intercourse between societies naturally hostile. Less
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Frederick Jackson Turner was an American historian in the early 20th century, based at the University of Wisconsin until 1910, and then at Harvard. He was primarily known for his “Frontier Thesis....
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