Dutch Settlements

Location, Geography, Goals

Economic Goals

The first permanent Dutch outpost in America was Fort Orange, a trading outpost dedicated to trading beaver pelts. They were focused more on this trade than colonizing, and as such New Netherland remained relatively small. Fort Orange was funded by the Dutch West India Company, and was only meant for trading and making money.

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The small Dutch settlements were located along river banks and in river valleys to maximize their ability to collect the valuable beaver pelts that they traded. The Dutch settlements were generally located among the East Coast, close to the Atlantic.

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A map of the Dutch colonies, shown with modern borders. Fort Nassau was later flooded and abandoned, being replaced by Fort Orange.

Rivalry with New France

Because the settlers and traders in New Netherlands were only looking to make money in the fur trade, they naturally ran into conflicts and arguments with the settlers in New France who wanted the same thing. Quebec and Fort Orange were close enough to cause them to impede upon the other's search for beaver pelts.