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The Fur Trade
Transcript of The Fur Trade
The exploration of Canada by Europeans was a battle for supremacy. And furs. Especially furs.
Much of Canada's exploration and settlement was a result of the fur trade
The Hudson's Bay Company was founded in 1670.
Under a Royal Charter, they were granted all the lands that drained into Hudson's Bay
The HBC remained close to their base- a 'stay by the bay' policy.
In an effort to acquire more of the fur business, traders pushed further west.
Their competitors were based out of Montreal. They were the North West Company.
They were based out of London.
Both companies were after the lucrative furs that were popular in Europe. Beaver in particular were the most important.
The North West used a very different policy. They encouraged their traders to move out to new territories.
They also mixed more with the natives that did most of the trapping.
As a result, they were enjoying great success, as well as pushing further into land previously unexplored by Europeans.
The waterways were crucial to transport. Voyageurs were required to portage and were resilient and independent.
Both companies pushed further West to exploit new markets. Their competition would result in challenges and opportunities for both Native and white populations.
Eventually, the two companies
would merge in 1821.
The Natives found that more of their livelihood was based on the fur trade.
Diseases affected the populations, animals were hunted out, and the goods they traded became more crucial to existence.
The legacy of this trade was exploration and settlement of Canada.