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The Canadian Fur Trade Rivalry - 1790-1821

            The increasing commercial activities and call for consumer goods in the late 17th century led to the development of various manufacturing enterprises, including the North American fur trade, which was involved in the acquisition, exchange, and sale of animal furs. The first official fur trade company installed in North America went by the name of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC), and was charted in 1670 by Charles II, thus making the Company "the true and absolute Lordes and Proprietors" of a huge piece of territory in North America described as "all the Landes Countryes and Territoryes upon the Coastes and Confynes of the Seas" of Hudson's Bay and the river system that drained into it. Furthermore, the Charter imposed the Hudson's Bay Company to trade exclusively with Great Britain while failing to give the Company exclusive right to trade in the area given to it, which would later prove to be detrimental to the HBC financial stability. Nevertheless, the Charter was enacted so that the HBC may take advantage and own a monopoly of furs over the rich trading territory discovered by Great Britain. .
             The Hudson's Bay Company inland fur trade rested on two elements up until the 1760s; its trading posts, and their fur providers. The HBC trading inland posts were few in numbers and relatively close to the Bay, and the traders stationed at the posts were neither hunters nor trappers, therefore the Company relied on the local native populations to provide the furs. The Cree and Assiniboine people trapped the furs and made the long excruciating journeys to the HBC posts to trade for European merchandise. Counts done at the York Factory in the late 1750s indicate that practically "all the Indians coming to the post were either Cree or Assiniboine." The HBC maintained their monopoly for over 80 years, but Joseph Robson suggest in his book, An Account of Six Years Residence in Hudson's Bay, published in 1752, that the "Company for eighty years slept at the edge of a frozen sea," in other words, the Hudson's Bay Company's western growth was nonexistent until the 1770s.

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