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Canada and the Hudson Bay Company

            The Hudson's Bay Company was one of the most influential and largest companies in the world. It contributed greatly to the physical, economic, and political development of Canada. The company expanded from the Artic shores to the docks of San Francisco and westward all the way to Hawaii. Much of modern day Canada is a result of the Hudson's Bay Company. The company traders kept the American colonist from pushing north. In addition, the company's sale of company territory to Canada let the country fill their northern and western boundaries. As a result of this sale three of the Hudson's Bay Company's former trading posts became provincial capitals Fort Garry in Winnipeg, Fort Edmonton, and Fort Victoria. It was the desire of the beaver pelts that drew the traders from the Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence towards the Rocky Mountains and to the shores of the Pacific. The hunt of the beaver turned into the pursuit of a nation. "As the modern explorer Eric W. Morse noted in his classic study of the fur trade canoe routes: "the beaver, by its defencelessness, no less than by its value, was responsible for unrolling the map of Canada. The company's workers also introduced to Canadian settlers the art of sheep farming and the value of dandelions, which were previously imports to the country. The settlers learned from the company's traders that sheep could be very valuable as food and the dandelions were very valuable when made into wine. .
             Since they were living and working in the Hudson Bay area the tradesmen had to endure the weather conditions that went with the territory. The tradesmen had to endure winters that were so cold that by the end of October the snow was twelve feet deep and the men had to use axes to hack ice off the inside walls of the Factor's house. Astronomer William Wales in late January carried "a half-pint of brandy into the open air, and in less than two minutes it was as thick as treacle; in about five it had a very strong ice on the top; and in an hour's time he believed that it would have been nearly solid.

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