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The Impact of the Fur Trade on the Development of the Canadian West

1. Canada’s “West”: Introduction

In Canada, it is inherently difficult to give identity to the immigrants, mostly from North America as they got absorbed in the culture of the aboriginal people. The term “West” is often used to describe the Canadian region west of the Great Lakes, including the Prairie Provinces and British Columbia. In Canadian historiography, the “West” has been associated with the fur trading companies and the Aboriginal people. The social class in Canadian society is also an important factor in understanding the “West”.

2. The “West” in Canadian History

The “West” in Canadian history refers to the period when the fur trading companies were active in the region west of the Great Lakes. This period began in the early seventeenth century and ended in the early nineteenth century. The fur trading companies were responsible for the economic and social development of the region. They brought new technologies and animals to the region, which resulted in a change in the way of life of the Aboriginal people. The fur trading companies also had a significant impact on the social class structure of Canadian society.

3. The fur trading companies and the Aboriginal people

The fur trading companies were responsible for the economic and social development of the region west of the Great Lakes. They brought new technologies and animals to the region, which resulted in a change in the way of life of the Aboriginal people. Thefur trading companies also had a significant impact on the social class structureof Canadian society.

The first contact between Europeans and Aboriginal people was made by Jacques Cartier in 1534, when he explored the St. Lawrence River valley. However, it was not until 1608 that Europeans began to settle in what is now Canada. The first permanent European settlement was established by Samuel de Champlain at Quebec City in 1608. Champlain expected that Quebec would become a major centre for trade with France’s colonies in North America. However, this did not happen because Champlain failed to establish good relations with the Aboriginal people.

The fur trade was established soon after Champlain’s settlement at Quebec City. The demand for furs increased rapidly in Europe because of changes in fashion. The most valuable furs were beaver pelts, which were used to make hats. The French established a monopoly over the fur trade by signing treaties with Aboriginal chiefs. As a result, other European nations, such as England and Holland, were excluded from trade with Canada’s Aboriginal people.

The French established a number of fur-trading posts along rivers that flowed into Hudson Bay, such as James Bay and Cree Lake. The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was founded by Englishmen in 1670 as a response to French dominance of the fur trade. The HBC established its headquarters at Fort York (now Toronto) and soon became a powerful force in North American commerce. By 1800, there were more than 60 HBC posts spread across northern Canada.

4. The social class in Canadian society

In every human society there exist different levels or strata based on occupational groups or socio-economic status (Egerton, p 25). These levels are known as social classes and they can either be open where one can move up or down or closed where movement is limited due to factors such as birth or race (Egerton, p 25).The way of life of the people in a certain social class is also different from others and this is what sociologist use to help them identify the various social classes that exist in a society.

In Canada, the existence of social classes can be seen in the way different groups of people live. For instance, those in the upper class are able to live in big houses, have expensive cars and go on vacation to exotic places while those in the lower class may not even be able to afford a car or a place to live. Other factors such as education and occupation can also be used to identify social classes.

Social class is an important factor in understanding the “West” because it was the fur trading companies that were responsible for the economic and social development of the region. The fur trading companies brought new technologies and animals to the region, which resulted in a change in the way of life of the Aboriginal people. The fur trading companies also had a significant impact on the social class structure of Canadian society.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, the “West” is an important part of Canadian history. The fur trading companies were responsible for the economic and social development of the region. They brought new technologies and animals to the region, which resulted in a change in the way of life of the Aboriginal people. The fur trading companies also had a significant impact on the social class structure of Canadian society.

FAQ

The definition of "the West" has changed over time in Canadian history. The term "the West" originally referred to the western region of Canada, but it has come to refer to the Prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta) more specifically.

Some of the key events and developments that have shaped the history of "the West" in Canada include the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which led to increased settlement in the region; the discovery of oil in Alberta, which spurred economic development; and the creation of provincial governments in Manitoba (1870) and Alberta (1905), which gave residents more control over their own affairs.

The experience of living in "the West" has differed for different groups of people throughout Canadian history. For example, First Nations peoples have long had a presence in the region, but they experienced displacement and cultural loss when European settlers arrived. Métis people also have a long history in the area, dating back to before Canada was even a country. They played an important role in early settlement and development, but they too faced discrimination and exclusion as Euro-Canadian settlement increased. In recent years, immigrants from all over the world have been coming to live in Western Canada, adding to its diversity.

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