Innis on the Northwest Company as a forerunner to Confederation


in Canada, Economics, Politics

By 1821 the Northwest Company had built up an organization which extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The foundations of the present Dominion of Canada had been securely laid. The boundaries of the trade were changed slightly in later periods but primarily the territory over which the Northwest Company had organized its trade was the territory which later became the Dominion. The work of the French traders and explorers and of the English who built upon foundations laid down by them was complete. The fur trade had pushed beyond the St. Lawrence drainage basin to the north and the northwest along the edge of the Pre-Cambrian shield and the forest regions, and had organized the bases of provisions in the more fertile territory to the south at Detroit, the Assiniboine, the Saskatchewan, the Peace, and lastly, the Columbia. The Northwest Company was the forerunner of confederation and it was built on the work of the French voyageur, the contributions of the Indian, especially the canoe, Indian corn, and pemmican, and the organizing ability of Anglo-American merchants. (p. 262 hardcover)

Innis, Harold. The Fur Trade in Canada. 1930.

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