Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hudson's Bay Company

1150 Words 5 Pages
A Feud Over Fur 1821, two competitors merge to end fighting, and find strength, united. The Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company merged during July, 1821. This came after a tense competition between the companies since around 1787, which grew into that of a war; many battles were fought, and many ruthless actions were taken during that time. After pressure from the British government, the two companies merged; both realized that their battle would destroy both sides. The new company kept the name Hudson’s Bay Company, and with that, the name of the North West Company disappeared, after more than forty years. However, 55 out of 100 shares were held by North West Company and Hudson’s Bay adopted many of their principles as well. But …show more content…
Until around 1710, about one in seven men could find a wife. Many men became coureurs de bois (translating directly to “wood-runners”), due to the guaranteed benefits, as well as the fact that many could find an Aboriginal wife. The coureurs de bois were unlicensed fur traders. However, HBC (Hudson’s Bay Company) did not allow for interracial marriage, which led to an extreme disadvantage, as their traders would not have wives that were already adapted to the environment. Also, many of them just could not find wives. The NWC’s (North West Company) traders were allowed to marry Aboriginal women, and were in fact encouraged by the company to marry a woman from Aboriginal descent. The NWC traders were given an advantage in the trading market, leading to the eventual allowance of the HBC traders to marry First Nations women. Children that had mixed European-Aboriginal blood were called Metis. With more European-Aboriginal marriages, the relationship between Europeans and Aboriginal people grew stronger. Aboriginal people became more reliant on the fur trade, and traders became more reliant for the help of Aboriginal people. Many traders got a First Nations wife, because of their economic sense, and knowledge of the land. The threat to HBC’s monopoly led to the direct contact between them and the First Nations of the …show more content…
Hunting would be less controlled, instead of hunting merely for need; hunting was for trading for iron goods. This led to a decline in the population of many native species. Some tribes replaced the summer activities of food gathering and scavenging, with hunting and trapping. These Aboriginal tribes’ people became very dependent on European goods. The competition between the two trading companies is what led to an increase in selling of guns, and the start of the sale of alcohol; which was implemented because of trade agreements, and had a negative impact on the people. HBC did not sell alcohol, but NWC did, and also allowed bargaining which made them more popular. The values of the First Nations people also changed; there was no longer a special connection to the animals they hunted. Due to the fierce competition, the worth of furs went up, and since more profit could be made, more animals were hunted. Beaver pelt hats still generated profit and was still high in demand. The increased wealth generated by the Aboriginal people from the fur trade changed their ideals, and many chiefs were being chosen for their skill in hunting, rather than for their wisdom. Diseases from Europe were also harmful to the native people, and since the Aboriginal people had become so reliant on trade, they were more exposed to diseases such as smallpox. The conflict between the two companies also led to the

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