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Lecture 1 - Mercantilism .docx

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Western University
History 2125F/G
Peter Krats

Lecture 1 Emergence of the colonial economy in the 16 century Points for Lecture: • Staple Theory • Mercantilism • Staples Beginnings – Raw Materials o Fish o Fur o Timber Staples Notion: • Beginning in Canada in the 1930s • Until the 1920 Canadian scholars didn’t look at Canada’s past • Was part of the British empire • Coming out of WW1 there is a surge of nationalism o Group of 7 paintings • Harold Ennis – • Most important thinker in Canada at the time o Intellectual history o Economic historian o Political economist o Begins to study – writes on fur trade o CPR o Cod fishery Staples Trap • Had become dependent on people wanting to buy domestic commodities • Sell low and buy finished goods high • Ennis argued that working the economy this way put Canada in a trap • He argues what happens when the resources run out • **Reliance on outside unpredictability** • No incentives for local developments First Nations Settings • “Business” but on a differing set of bases • Their our economies like the Fur trade – plenty experience in economies – at least has to be stated European Setting: • Europeans spend the better half of the last 1000 years putting together national states • Rise of the merchant class • Emergence of Capitalism • Capitalism is man made • Their our no natural economic forces • Natural consequence’s but decisions are man made Mercantilist Model • Colonies • Colonies send natural materials • Spanish got gold and silver • France – Canada – looking for gold and silver – get Cod • “Closed economy”: is not suppose to trade with another colony • Trading the leaks out but not suppose to • North America is tough o Dutch try New Amsterdam but it fails and turns into New York • Atlantic Fishing Banks: Riches from Staples o COD fish • Shows how far the European capitalist economy had evolved • Now need ships to get COD • Ships need a captain • Go to the 1 percent of the rich and find an investor •
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