Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
Thanks for the fur trade detail, I always think of fur trading as the only thing that ever happened in Canada, and nowhere else either.

Because of a larger, and more sparsely settled interior for a longer period of time, the Canadian fur trade "lasted" far longer than that in the US. Also, it was far more "managed" in Canada because of the exclusive franchise granted by the Crown to the Hudson Bay Company.

Rapid exploitation and depletion of the beaver in NY State and the US Midwest combined with ensuing rapid agricultural settlement was part of the explanation.

Unlike the US, Canada retained for far longer a remote, sparsely settled (primarily by Native Peoples and Metis - i.e. mixed blood) northern region - even as the St. Lawrence River valley and Upper Canada (Ontario) around both Lakes Ontario and Erie became agricultural.

Add to that the fact that being further north - the fur-bearing animal prey had thicker, more "premium" hides and it was inevitable that Canada would come to dominate the North American fur trade (and for such trade to become emblematic of Canada).

Few today realize how large the beaver (particularly) fur trade was. But every time you see a Buckingham Palace Guard in full regalia or a London "City" executive in a bowler - you are looking at a beaver on his head and a vestige of what once a major trading commodity!

Sorry for the history lesson.

Oh, BTW, the Romans paved the Appian Way over 2000 years ago - I guess they were preparing for Fiats and Alfas!