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The Hudson Bay Company was founded in 1670 as a fur trading company in North America. The company was granted exclusive trading privileges for the vast area of present day Canada. The Company established trading posts along rivers and on the shores of the Hudson Bay to exchange manufactured goods, mostly imported from Europe, for furs supplied by Aboriginal (Native) peoples. The activities of the Hudson Bay Company had a very profound effect on the Native peoples of Canada. It introduced Natives to the European lifestyle and economy, and made many of them abandon their traditional ways. The Company is often held accountable for economically exploiting the Natives, and for spread of new diseases among them such as smallpox.
Apart from trade and commerce, the Company was seen by British colonial authorities as an agent of political influence, and Company officials were often colonial administrators at the same time. Gradually, the Hudson Bay Company lost its administrative functions and became a purely business venture. The Company exists until today, and its headquarters are located in Toronto, Canada....
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