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Beneath the Backbone of the WorldBlackfoot People and the North American Borderlands, 1720-1877$
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Ryan Hall

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469655154

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469655154.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Between Empires

Between Empires

(p.89) Chapter Four Between Empires
Beneath the Backbone of the World

Ryan Hall

University of North Carolina Press

In 1821, the Hudson’s Bay Company and North West Company merged, robbing Native people like the Blackfoot of trade leverage by forcing them to trade with only one partner. At the same time, American and Canadian traders made inroads with Indigenous nations in the intermountain West, eroding Blackfoot advantages over their neighbors. Facing the loss of their strategic advantages, Blackfoot people responded by welcoming American traders from the American Fur Company to the upper Missouri River for the first time in 1830, thus securing themselves a privileged position and reasserting themselves as the region’s dominant power. Their borderlands position gave them leverage over non-Native traders and provided crucial mobility and flexibility that other Native people lacked.

Keywords:   Hudson’s Bay Company, North West Company, Merger, Borderlands, American Fur Company

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