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NWC vs. HBC
Transcript of NWC vs. HBC
Hudson Bay Company
Hudson Bay Company:
Hudson Bay trading forts weren't too far off of the bay so any First Nations that were around there, would've traded within the Hudson Bay Company. It was fairly limited to the amount of First Nations inland that would trade with them because the North West Company had forts father inland. First Nations people would've come across the North West Company first, so they wouldn't have bothered going any farther and they wouldn't have found the Hudson Bay Company.
North West Company:
Competition Between Companies
Starting in the 1750's the fur trade business slowed down for two reasons. The first was the Seven Years War between France and England. Britain won this war and took control of New France and the fur trade in 1763. This should have been the start of happy times for HBC. Instead, it faced new competition from fur traders in Montreal. A number of merchants formed the North West Company in 1783. The competition between the two companies was fierce. Both started to explore further west to find new sources of fur. In 1793, Alexander Mackenzie became the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean by crossing the Rocky Mountains.
After the British takeover of New France, The North West Company was established in Montreal, largely by newly arrived Highland Scots who formed several partnerships that combined to form the North West Company in 1779-1784. Building on French fur trade expertise and voyageur labour, the new company quickly moved inland, far beyond the Great Lakes. Use of lightweight canoes allowed us to complete with HBC traders, held hack by heavy wooden York boats and their reluctance by venture inland from their posts on the shore of Hudson Bay. Our enterprising spirit led us ever westward by the means of hardy voyageurs- portaging heavy loads, paddling through the rough rapids, and preserving through harsh, isolated winters. By the 1790’s Northwesters had become leaders of the fur trade and had mapped much of what is now North West Canada.
Hudson Bay Company:
On May 2nd, 1670, King Charles II issued the Royal Charter. The Charter stated that the Hudson Bay Company was for the discovery of a new passage into the South Sea and to find people to trade with for furs. Therefore, Rupert's Land was created, defined as all the land drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay, which happens to be about 40 percent of what is know Canada. In return for the Charter, the HBC pays the Crown 2 elks and 2 black beavers whenever they happened to be in the area. The Crown only ended up being payed 4 times.
Movement inland began about 1750 after the French entered the western country and tried to divert the Hudson Bay fur trade to Montreal. The most important route ran from York Factory up the Hayes River to Norway House at the north end of Lake Winnipeg. Most posts were on the southwest side of the bay. Inland were many complex routes, most being too small for heavy freight canoes.
North West Company:
The North West Company took its trade to the Indians by establishing a network of inland trading posts in the western territory. Merchant partners coordinated with the Europeans to import goods for trade and to promote the sale of furs. Merchant and wintering partners were considered Company owners and were paid the interest that their shares accumulated. Stationed at trading ports, wintering partners were enterprising managers, cultivating and managing their traders' realtionships with First Nation communities and supervising the clerks, voyageurs, and others in their employ.