In 1821 the
North West Company had to admit defeat, and joined with HBC.
HBC then became the most powerful organization
in North America. The company controlled most of the land in
modern day Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Not
only was HBC in charge of the land, they also made and enforced
many of the laws. This continued until 1870, when HBC gave
up its control under the Deed
Hudson's Bay Company territory 1821 to 1870
The fur trade
was also beginning to change. In 1821, HBC began trading furs
from other counties. More importantly, new ways of treating other
furs to make them better for felt-making made beaver less necessary.
Then an animal called the nutria (or coypu) was discovered in South
America. It was just as good as beaver fur, and much cheaper.
To make things worse, everybody fashionable had started wearing
silk hats: the top hat. George Simpson can be seen wearing a top
hat in the picture above.
fur trade had a very bad history of conservation. Hunters and
trappers often moved from one place to the next, using up all
the animals important to the fur trade. Both the North American
beaver and the buffalo almost became extinct in the 19th century.
the fur trade was shrinking. For a while, the buffalo fur trade
became important, and the demand for luxury furs such as mink and
seal remained. Even so, by 1870 the fur trade was no longer a major
did beavers become less important?
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