The American Fur Company Essay

2243 WordsOct 11, 20149 Pages
American Fur Company John Jacob Astor, founder of the American Fur Company, was the creator of the first trust or monopoly, and he was the first multi-millionaire in the United States. His fortune came primarily from the fur trade. Born on July 17, 1763 in Waldorf, Germany, his cleverness, guile, and business suave shaped the early American frontier. Arriving in New York in 1783, he soon began to buy furs from trappers and Indians, establishing a fur goods shop in New York. In 1794, the Jay Treaty between Great Britain and the United States opened new markets in Canada and the Great Lakes region. Astor affected three major sections of the nation: Business, Society, and Government. With regard to businesses, he mastered the fur trade industry to near perfection with his use of predatory pricing, market manipulation, and trade routes to increase his supply and expansion into new markets. Within society, Americans from the past to present can credit John Jacob Astor and the American Fur Company to many benefits and consequences felt within society. Those who understand the full impact of American Fur Company will agree that Astor’s greed and blatant exploitation of people and resources came at such a high cost to some parts of society that it may have outweighed any good. Lastly, government, which was supposed to protect society, began to realize that they would have to intervene with the private sector in order to ensure human rights. It was through Astor’s actions that the need for a stronger federal government and increased regulation upon its businesses was realized and deemed an absolute necessity to protect the people of society, and to limit the scope of business. Argument for Business: Astor was an intelligent, talented, and ambitious businessman. Even more so, he was recognized for his guile and cunningness to get the upper hand on his rivals

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