Astor Fur Co Case Questions Answers

1. Astor’s motive was to discover something better in life, trade fur, own a country and become a king. His ability as a leader included negotiation skills and the ability to see ahead. Our opinion is that these are important skills for a leader. Ethically, we feel that his abuse of workers was inhumane because they were ordered to work unlimited hours in hazardous and extreme weather while decreasing the salaries. He overpriced the trade goods when people were desperate. He influenced congress for his own benefits. We feel that even though he was literary successful he disregarded virtues. We feel he will be remembered as a tyrant, unethical and ruthless businessman.
2. The environment changed extremely fast within three years because the price of beaver was slashed in half. The contributing factors were: people started preferring silk and leather, beaver was becoming extinct and people blamed the worldwide cholera on fur.
3. The cultural impact is the fact that Astor was treating the poor like slaves which is inhumane. Beavers were almost extinguished. Government officials were on the payroll of the rich. Big institutions can change the constitutions in favor of them.
4. The most important stakeholders were the workers (native Indians), customers (Europeans) and the inhabitants (fur producing areas). We feel they were not treated responsibly because Indian culture was totally destroyed. The ecology of the North American territories was extensively damaged. Tribes were abused and destroyed by alcohol, venereal disease and smallpox. Based on today’s standards, AFC would not exist due to their unethical practices.
5. We feel that the positive legacy would be that the fur trade shaped economic, political and cultural life. The fur trading posts represented civilization and greatly advanced geographical knowledge. It also reinforced Central American values. We strongly feel that negative legacy would be that traders undermined Indian cultures and it left...