Politics & Society

Shipwreck in Kansas

Transatlantic Trade and Treasure

When the Steamboat Arabia sank in the Missouri River in 1856, it remained submerged under the mud of a tallgrass prairie for 132 years. When it was excavated in 1988, the steamboat’s contents revealed a history of transatlantic trade.

Goods uncovered from the steamboat tell us that settlers out West demanded European goods like nails and silks. Today, transatlantic trade looks much different—from pharmaceuticals and machines to champagne and data. This new animation, in collaboration with AreWeEurope, tells the tale of transatlantic trade and underscores the shared history of Europe and the U.S.


Emily Benson

Manager, Transatlantic Legislative Relations
Bertelsmann Foundation