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Unformatted text preview: The Fur T rade 1. Origins of the Fur T rade • Began in the 1500’s, but not important until 1600’s due to establishment of European posts • Early 1600’s French returned as settlers • Were hoping to gain monopoly on ever increasing fur trade • Beaver felt hats in fashion o Were fashionable until late 1500’s to mid 1800’s o Beaver Hats (1770s-1830s) more than one kind of hats • 1608, French post established at Quebec (began New France) o Samuel de Champlain o Trading post was the beginning of the French empire in North America, beginning of the colony of New France o Built habitation at Quebec, fortified built of wood, controlled fur trade along St. Lawrence river and even into the great lakes region Why did Europeans need beaver fur from North America? • European beaver almost extinct • European beaver fur was expensive (due to rarity and only Russians knew how to process them for high quality) o Short inner hairs made the best wool, made a very soft hat o Only the Russians knew how to remove the guard hairs from the pelts to get to the softer inner hairs o Russians refused to tell their secret so Western Europeans like English and French needed a cheap way to remove these...
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- Spring '10
- Fur, Hudson's Bay Company, Russians, Beaver, Beaver hat, fur t rade