Divisions: Varsity, Junior Varsity, Middle School, Elementary
Competition Type: Individual, interactive game

Introduction to the 2022 Great Colonial Trading Game

The Great Colonial Trading Game transports players back to the early eighteenth-century colonial period in North America. Trade between the Canadian Native Americans called First Nations and the Europeans such as the France, Britain, the French colonists in Acadia, and the emerging English Colonies was a major driver of both groups’ economies. The early colonial period featured growing trade, limited conflict and the devastation of First Nations populations by European diseases. As European populations increased and both groups became more dependent on trade, a fascinating web of political alliances and rivalries developed. Competition grew among the First Nations to control trading routes and relations with the Europeans. These conflicts and European encroachment on First Nations land often resulted in warfare. Conversely, trade issues fueled the global conflict between France and England and ultimately between England and her American Colonies.

This game oversimplifies history in many ways. The Europeans and First Nations (Cree, Iroquois, Blackfeet, and Mi’kmaq) are represented in the game only as simplifications of their complex cultures and economies. Moreover, the timeline is condensed and the game focuses on a few commodities. Nevertheless, the game demonstrates the interdependence of the European and First Nations’ economies. It will give players a sense of the challenges facing the historical trading partners from this era. Players will deal with the twists and turns of history, while exercising and expanding their diplomatic, tactical, and negotiating skills. Knowledge of Colonial history, combat skills and a bit of luck will also play a minor role in determining the winner of The Great Colonial Trading Game.

2018 Champions
Varsity: Gareth Thorlakson, Canada
Junior Varsity: Josh Rollin, California
Middle School: Chatanya Sarin, California

2016 Champions
Varsity: Jakob Myers, Illinois
Junior Varsity: Gareth Thorlakson, Canada
Middle School: Jingxuan Lin, China

2015 Champions
Varsity: Ben Koppel, Maryland
Junior Varsity: Jonathan Ralstin, Indiana
Middle School: Matthew Hasenwinkel, New York

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Instruction Summary from 2016

The 2016 Great Pacific Trading Game transports players back to the Pacific Trading Lanes of the 19th Century. Trading among the United States and European powers, Britain, France and Germany is driven by two major economic activities. Whaling has become a major industry with whale oil used to light the cities of the West. The West is also eager to build trade with China and other Asian countries. European goods are not in high demand, so traders need products of high value in Asian markets. Western countries are in fierce competition for trade routes, colonies and Chinese products valued in the West. The Pacific Islands (Fiji, Hawaii, The Marshall Islands and Tahiti) play an important role in both industries. They provide labor and provisions for the whaling industry and products to be used in trade for Chinese tea, porcelain and silk. There are also profound changes in these societies based on their new economic opportunities and political and environmental threats.

This game oversimplifies history in many ways. The four Trading countries and four Island nations portrayed in the game are represented only as caricatures of their complex cultures and economies. Moreover, the timeline is condensed and the game focuses on the Chinese trade. Nevertheless, the game demonstrates the interdependence of the Western and emerging Island economies. It will give players a sense of the challenges facing both sets of countries. Players will deal with the twists and turns of history, while exercising and expanding their diplomatic, tactical and negotiating skills. Knowledge of Pacific history and a bit of luck will also play a role in determining the winner of The Great Pacific Trading Game.
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Below are the Great Trading Game files from 2016.

Great Pacific Trading – Instructions
Great Pacific Trading –  Scoring Sheet
Great Pacific Trading – Resources
Great Pacific Trading Hawaii
Great Pacific Trading Fiji
Great Pacific Trading USA
Great Pacific Trading Marshall Islands
Great Pacific Trading Britain
Great Pacific Trading Tahiti
Great Pacific Trading Germany
Great Pacific Trading France

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Below are the Great Trading Game files from 2015.