Supply and demand with Jake Compton


Learn more about the economics of the fur trade with this Oregon Trail activity! Explore how monopolies and supply and demand economy work by looking at the different companies involved in this trade.

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Lesson Objectives

Supply and demand with Jake Compton:

Learn about the economic concepts by exploring the different fur trading companies that paved the way for the Oregon Trail.

Guiding Ideas for Supply and demand with Jake Compton

Searching for beaver and other furs that were popular in Europe and the East, fur traders ventured west and created what became known as the Oregon Trail.  The Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and traders from about 1811 to 1840, and was only passable on foot or by horseback. Fur trading companies competed for control of territory and sales throughout the West.

What impact did their competitiveness have on each other? Find out about these great fur trading companies of the West.  Discover the definition of monopoly and supply and demand (if you need to better understand these economic concepts). Then, as a team, answer the following questions:

  •  Why is being a monopoly advantage for a company?
  • How did fashion trends impact supply and demand for furs?
  • What modern-day examples are similar to the competition the fur trading companies experienced?
  • What modern day examples remind you of the decline of the fur trade?

Performance expectations

The student should be able to explain:

  1. What is a Monopoly
  2. What is Supply and Demand

Student Activities in Supply and demand with Jake Compton

  • Explore the fur trade on the Oregon Trail in Minecraft Education Edition with your classmates and find answers to the guiding questions.


List of Trading Companies

History of Fur Trade


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