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What was the NWC made up of? What was the difference between how the HBC and the NWC operated--why was this important? Describe a 'voyageur's' lifestyle. What happened in 1821?

The North West Company was made up of Scottish and American capitalists. The difference between how the HBC and NWC operated was that the HBC waited for its Native traders to bring the furs to the posts on Hudson Bay. The NWC built posts throughout the interior of the west and north and dealt directly with the different Native nations. The NWC also did its best to intercept the furs on their way to the HBC posts. I don't know why this was important. The life of a voyageur was adventerous and pretty hard because they'd have to paddle their canoe consistently. In 1821 the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company were joined.

Please add any more information. I don't know the second part of this question: What was the difference between how the HBC and the NWC operated--why was this important? More info describing a voyageur's lifestyle would be appreciated as well, thanks:-)

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asked by Sara
  1. If the NWC intercepted furs on their way to HBC posts, then they were cheating the French out of their commissions and sales.

    Check these sites about voyageurs.

    http://canadian-settlement.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_voyageurs_of_new_france

    http://www.wildernessclassroom.com/www/schoolhouse/boreal_library/voyageurs/index.htm

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    posted by Ms. Sue
  2. The life of a voyageur was adventerous and pretty hard because they'd have to paddle their canoe consistently. The life of a voyageur was also troublesome because the food they had was revolting. Their life was amusing at times as well. Together as a group they would help eachother out, chat, and tell some jokes, etc.
    It was kind of hard for me to pick out the main details. Is this all the info I need?

    For the second part of this question: What was the difference between how the HBC and the NWC operated--why was this important? I don't get what the 'why was this important' referring to.

    Did I do everything else correctly?

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    posted by Sara
  3. This has some more information about the differences between the two companies and why these differences were important.

    "Unlike the sedentary Baymen, the men of the North West Company were constantly on the move. The Nor'Westers, as they were known, lived, wintered and worked mostly to the west of Hudson Bay. Vigorous competition for the fur trade took them over the Rocky Mountains and even to the Arctic Ocean. Most of the key explorers of these regions - Alexander Mackenzie, Simon Fraser, David Thompson and Peter Pond - were Nor'Westers. They showed their disdain for Hbc's Charter rights by building their forts right beside those of Hbc at strategic trading points. One such location was Edmonton, where Hbc's fort and the NWC's Fort Augustus were neighbours.

    The NWC was different from Hbc in significant ways. Based in North America it was owned and operated by men who were themselves active in the business. Many of the partners had themselves travelled into the interior and traded there. These hivernants - or "wintering partners" - well knew the business they directed and had a personal stake in the company's success. They were, for the most part, Scots, and were bound by ties of nationality as well as close kinship through the clan structure. In contrast, Hbc's directors and investors were primarily English noblemen and financiers, who governed the Company from afar. Their interest in the business was overwhelmingly financial and their actual knowledge of the trade was second-hand at best.


    Edward Ellice
    Sir William Charles Ross/Library and Archives Canada/C-002835

    But the key difference between the two companies - and the one which would ultimately prove insurmountable to the NWC - was economic. The sea route to Hudson Bay, notwithstanding its attendant hardships, was a huge advantage. It enabled Hbc to benefit from a short business cycle. Ships could leave England, travel to Hudson Bay, offload goods, pick up furs and return to England in the space of about 5 months. A complete business cycle - from shipment of goods to return of furs in payment for those goods - normally took 14 months.

    The NWC's cycle was much longer and more expensive. Its voyageurs had to cover four times the distance overland as did Hbc simply to reach Lake Winnipeg. Canoe brigades leaving Montreal in late spring took 8 weeks to reach Fort William, the NWC's great inland depot (modern Thunder Bay). There the previous year's furs were loaded for the return trip to Montreal where they arrived in September. They would not be sent on to London for auction until April of the following year - almost a full year later."

    http://www.hbc.com/hbcheritage/history/acquisitions/furtrade/nwc.asp

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    posted by Ms. Sue
  4. The difference between how the HBC operated and the NWC did was that the NWC's men were always on the move and focused. The men were very active in their business. The HBC people had their main interest on money. Their knowledge of trade was good as well. The NWC was economic. The trade route for the HBC was much easier and benefitted the HBC a lot. The NWC's cycle was longer and really expensive. These differences were important because with these differences the NWC could learn benefitting things from the HBC and the HBC could do the same with the NWC.

    Please tell me if I've done this correctly, also is my info for the voyageur good?

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    posted by Sara
  5. Those answers are fine. :-)

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    posted by Ms. Sue

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