Canada's History The Fur Trade

Jacques Cartier was a French explorer of Breton origin who claimed what is now Canada for France. In the 1530’s and 1540’s Jacques Cartier conducted some of the earliest fur trading between the Europeans and the First Nations peoples. He traded furs along the St. Lawrence River with the First Nations peoples and concentrated on trading furs used as trimming and adornment.
The fur trade began around 1530 between the Europeans and the Natives. The Natives would trade beaver fur and teach the Europeans how to hunt. In exchange, the Europeans would trade pots, pans, cloth, tools and weapons. Eventually, beaver fur, which was used to make felt hats, became the most valuable of fur. The fur trade did really well, until the mid-1800's, when fur-bearing animals became scarce and silk hats became more popular than felt hats made with beaver.

While all of this is going on a battle between the French and British is going on as well.

In the 1750’s, France and Britain had colonies in North America. The British wanted to settle in the Ohio River Valley to trade with the Native Americans who lived there. Most Native Americans in the region were allies of the French and liked the French because they traded, but didn't settle on the land. The French built forts to protect their trade with the Native Americans. In 1754, George Washington led an army against the French, but was defeated. Britain declared war on France. In 1754, Benjamin Franklin thought the colonies should work together to defeat France. The colonists rejected it. In 1757, Britain sent more soldiers to North America helping defeat the French, which led to victory. In 1763, Britain and France ended the war and signed the Treaty of Paris.
The Beaver was the first steamship to operate in the Pacific Northwest of North America. The Beaver was used for fur trading. The Beaver served trading posts maintained by the Hudson's Bay Company between the Columbia River and Alaska, and played an important role in helping maintain British control in British Columbia. She served off the coast from 1836 until 1888, when she was wrecked in Burrard Inlet, Vancouver.
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Olivia Roesch
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