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Genesis: Historical research

Settler colonialism during the quasi-state period of the activity of HudsonТs Bay Company (1670-1870)

Sapuntsov Andrey Leonidovich

Doctor of Economics

Leading Scientific Associate, Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

123001, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Spiridonovka, d. 30/1

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This article is dedicated to the colonial activity of Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) founded in 1670 by the British for exploitation of fur in North America and conducting geographical surveying un the Northwestern region. The author sets a goal to determine the forms of organization of the European colonial settlements and peculiarities of their cooperation with the Native Americans in HBC trade operations. It is also important to ascertain the reasons for conducting reforms prior to monopolization of HBC in the fur market, as well as within the system of colonial control. The research material contains the colonization theories, archival materials of HBC, travelers’ testimonies, and analysis of the relevant legal documents. The author also applies the methods of cognitive dialectics, historical objectivism, and comparison of multifaceted sources in the context of socio-philosophical observation. The conclusion is made on the dominance of enclave topology in the colonial activity of Hudson’s Bay Company, when the European settlers resided mostly in coastal areas (forts and trading posts), as well as practices exploitative approaches towards relations with the Native Americans. However, the latter got an opportunity to sell beaver pelts to the Europeans through monetary exchange and unqualified labor. After taking over the French competitors, HBC transformed into a quasi-state, incorporating privately operated enterprise with colonial administration. The conclusion is made that the escalated discontent of the British Crown with usurpation of administrative power and business in Hudson’s Bay Company along with its engagement in monopolization of the market, led to disassembling of the aforementioned colonization model in 1870; the power was partially delegated the Canadian government.

Keywords: East India Company, HudsonТs Bay Company, colonization, Canada, Indians, U.K., beaver, North America, transnational corporation, private entrepreneurship
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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