How would you evaluate Astor in terms of his motive, his managerial ability, and his ethics? What lesson does his career teach about the relationship between virtue and success? Astor seems as though he wanted to make a better life for himself because he grew up very poor, but didn’t want to be in the same business as his father so he ventured out to make a better living for himself. Therefore, I believe Stator’s motive is greed. He was doing what any businessman would and that is to make money.
He didn’t care about the consequences or what it would do to other people in his path. He seems as though he has the need for power and control. His managerial ability is based on many different avenues including him being hard working and is a good negotiator. He was also very well at dealing with his competition by beating them to the next customer and coming up with ideas that his competition wouldn’t have thought of; such as: higher prices, supplying the Indians with whisky, purchasing large quantities of trade goods at a lower cost and use of political influence.
The American Fur Company
His behavior is both ethical and unethical. Some things that Astor did in his time, such as slaughtering a certain animal r species was acceptable and simply looked passed; however, today if Astor did that, there would be lawsuits and a lot of legal activity associated with him and his business. The trading of whisky to Indians for goods was frowned upon and was technically illegal and still is today. I feel as though in Stator’s case, virtue and success do not go hand in hand.
It seems like Astor had no virtues of his own but yet he was able to become very successful in his company and make a lot of money, more than he could have dreamed of, especially when he was a young boy. 2. How did the environment of the American Fur Company change in the sass’s? What deep historical forces are implicated in these changes? The environment of the company changed when everyone believed that a disease called Cholera was spread. People were afraid that the disease was actually spread through the transported furs that Astor was bringing in which lead to a fur trade standstill.
Other things that caused a negative impact on the fur trade was that alcohol was prohibited in all Indian reservations, new products drove the fur industry downhill, such as new leather hats. Historical forces that implicated in these changes could be libations, inequality, chance and nation state. 3. What were the impacts of the fur trade on society that is, economic, cultural, technological, natural, governmental, legal, and internal? Economically-?the furs were light enough to transport using different forms of transportation such as mules, barges and ships to eastern ports then to Europe.
This increased the profits due to not spending as much on transportation. Governmentally-?the government had no proof of Astor ever trading or bargaining with alcohol and buying the furs in large quantities offered him an opportunity to lower the price of it. In nature-?basically mountain life had been wiped out by man due to the constant need to find more fur to keep companies, such as American Fur, afloat. Legally-?the government failed to regulate the trade of fur and fur trade was beloved by Washing and Jefferson. Technologically-?introduction of the first sailboat and then the steamboat on the Missouri River.
Internally-?the internal environment of the American Fur Company was dominated by Astor whereas other fur companies were operated by proprietors or partnerships. 4. Who were the most important stakeholders of the nineteenth century fur industry? Were they treated responsibly by the standards of the day? By the standards of today? Astor, as the owner of American Fur Company compensated himself excessively, which led him to becoming the second richest man in America. The suppliers of the fur and employees of the American Fur Company were not treated fairly. Indian trappers were cheated, robbed and killed.
Free trappers worked very hard in dangerous conditions and got paid very little for the efforts and work. Governments were manipulated and ignored. Customers Were the only fairly treated because they received the product hey purchased. Stator’s abuse of weaker stakeholders was typical of his era, however if he were to trade today, he would be hit with a hefty fine, thrown in jail and even lose his company and all his earnings. Not all of the stakeholders were treated fairly or responsibly, but Astor did what he did to make his business grow and make money and a name for himself. . On balance, is the legacy of the American Fur Company and of the fur trade itself a positive legacy? Or is the impact predominantly negative? Think it could be either positive or negative. The reason for negative is because he began raiding for fur and started his business out of greed which led to competition, which could be a good thing or bad thing for a business depending on what type of business your in, then it tainted nature which could have reduced the elimination of an already decreasing population of a specific animal or specie.
Other negatives are: economic benefits were narrowly enjoyed, destruction of Native American cultures, many trappers died, and no respect for the government of laws. The positives could be listed as: created wealth, not only for Astor but his employees as well, created jobs, supplied a product in high emend, trappers and traders became leading citizens in new settlements. 6. Does the story of the American Fur Company hint at how and why capitalism has changed and has been changed over the years?