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In North America's Indian Trade in European Commerce and Imagination, Colpitts offers new perspectives on Europe's contact with America by examining the ideas, debates and questions arising in the trading that linked newcomers with Native people. European capitalization of the Indian Trade, beginning in the 16th century, forced newcomers to confront the meaning and legitimacy of traditional gift economies and assess the vice and virtue of the commerce they pursued in the New World. Making use of French and English colonization texts, published narratives and state colonial papers, the author explores how European capital investments, credit, profits and commercial linkages elaborated and complicated understandings of North American people in the period of colonization.