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History 2125F/G Lecture Notes - York Boat, First Nations, Potash

Course Code
HIS 2125F/G
Peter Krats

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Hist 2125f Lecture One: Intro and Course Outline September 6, 2012
Staples Theory: economy built where locals work for the greater good of other countries and areas
because they manufacture some raw material and sell it
- Issue whether Canada should ship our fresh water to US to save corn crop
o We would profit for a little while, then consequences
- Europeans brought their own policies (Mercantilism) but First nations had different set of
business practices (potash giving away things to bring status to yourself)
European Settings
- Rise of powerful “Nation-States”, emergence of Capitalism
- Kings had very little power so lords did what they felt was right
- Wars broke out, King established a standing permanent army (how to pay them/feed them?
Could steal but that would bring bad blood, so capitalism was considered take excess stuff
and sell somewhere that is without)
- Mercantilist Model: as European nation (England, Scotland, Sweden, France, etc.) created
colonies, could build up wealth of European nation by receiving natural resources from colonies
and sending them back the finished product
- Opposes free trade!
- Why did Europe go west to the new world? Couldn’t go East due to much more powerful Middle
eastern countries
- Barely even touched the east coast, found real riches from less glamorous items (example: cod
fish in Canada’s east coast)
o Reason fish was so popular, guaranteed market in Europe where religious couldn’t eat
meat on many days of the year but fish was deemed okay
- created a sophisticated business structure: boats, employees, preservative for overseas (salt
which comes from another country for wet (Portugal) and dry (England/France) fisheries),
invest, insurance, technology
- settlements formed when workers wanted to bring their women along
- new Europeans very cold in strange climate, witness valuable furs keeping natives warm
- People have to eat, but fur was different because it’s demand is far more unstable
- 2 fur trade: Montreal fur trade and Hudson’s Bay Trade Route
o Montreal: European buyers/merchants, Montreal merchants/agents, Mangeurs de lard,
L’hivernant, clerks, interpreters, works, First nations “homeguard and fur gatherers”,
canoeing was tough job but was romanticized
o Hudson’s Bay Company: English buyers/sellers, postmasters on the bay, personnel on
the bay, didn’t go inland but instead waited for first nations to bring them the furs
(middlemen), much more modern business style, careful keeping record, used York
o Two trades became intermixed and the excess demand made prices drop
o Business hates competition
o To eliminate competition, begin talking about forming monopoly (historians not sure if it
was acquisition, merger, or buyout), took many, many years for Hudson’s Bay Company
- Fur trade celebrated as creating Canada
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