The American Fur Company

In: Business and Management

Submitted By itaconicacid
Words 537
Pages 3
The American Fur Company was one of the most prosperous company establish in America. The company was started by John Jacob Astor an immigrant from Germany. His ambitions were immense and sometime overshadow his judgment, which lead to many questionable ethical decisions. Astor’s company was based on supplying fur product to consumer mainly in Europe where the fashion trend was all about fur. The company main source of resources were from Native American whom were expect at hunting and harvesting the fur from different animal specially beaver. Astor exploits the cultural differences of the native by trading simple western trinket for fur as well as alcohol.
Alcohol however was prohibit which gave him advantage over the government fur trading business which he let trade freely during transaction which also lead to inebriated native as well as making some addicted to the product. All of this was to give him leverage and advantage in the trade, which create an ethical dilemma of breaking the law as well as taking advantage of cultural differences. Then native wasn’t the only one exploited, even his trader and trapper fared no better. He would mark up trade goods heavily before selling them to traders, which lead to many being in debt and mortgaging their trading post to him. Trapper worked unlimited hours and in harsh condition with little pay. He basically created a system that amplified his fortune by diminishing those whom are caught in its working.
Fur was the big commodity then and Astor wasn’t the only one in the game. As mention before the government try to join the business, but fell due to Astor using alcohol as well as convincing native tribe to trade using credit which made them in debt in order to create an environment of eliminating trades with the competitions. His method was crude and cut throat which removed other competitor, his main goal was to...