fur trade

The Great Trading Companies

The greatest of the British trading companies, the Hudson's Bay Company, contended after 1670 with the French traders in Canada, and after Canada became British in 1763, with French and Scottish traders based in Montreal. The North West Company was created, and rivalry was bitter until the two companies were combined in 1821, taking the name Hudson's Bay Company. The largest of the companies in the United States was John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company, which also came into conflict with the North West Company, notably in 1812–13 at the Pacific coast establishment of Astoria. By that time the Canadian traders had set up posts across the continent (first crossed in the north by Sir Alexander Mackenzie) and had neared the Russian posts in Alaska.

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