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Religion and TradeCross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900$
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Francesca Trivellato, Leor Halevi, and Catia Antunes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199379187

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199379187.001.0001

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The Blessings of Exchange in the Making of the Early English Atlantic

The Blessings of Exchange in the Making of the Early English Atlantic

Chapter:
(p.62) 2 The Blessings of Exchange in the Making of the Early English Atlantic
Source:
Religion and Trade
Author(s):

David Harris Sacks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199379187.003.0002

How did peoples from different cultures with little or no previous knowledge of one another initiate trade relations? Focusing on experiences in the emerging Atlantic world, this chapter concentrates on some first encounters between Europeans and the native peoples in sixteenth-century North America and on the ideas and practices that made exchange between them possible. Among Europeans, these ideas derive from an ancient tradition according to which naturally occurring abundances and scarcities providentially promoted exchange and interdependence among the world’s regions and peoples. For the peoples of North America, the indigenous culture and practices of gift exchange supplied models for their encounters with newcomers from beyond the seas. Initially, enough similarities existed between these parties to create conditions for reciprocity. But once the demand for exclusive property rights came into the picture, the use of force was preferred over strategies of friendship, and coercion and warfare replaced the blessings of exchange.

Keywords:   gift, friendship, indigenous culture, warfare, Atlantic world, North America

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