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Photo Credit, Heather Wagner

Written by guest blogger, Michael Wagner.


Like most Canadians, I grew up with a sense that the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) played an important role in the exploration and development of the country.   My impression was that the really interesting period of the company’s history started when it began to compete with the Northwest Company in the late eighteenth century and expanded its operations in western Canada. The earlier part of the company’s history, when it appeared to be dominated by an extremely conservative and out of touch management in London, frankly seemed a bit boring. It was only when I began to study the history of British chartered trading companies at the University of Oxford that my view of the company’s early history began to change.

In the course of my research, I was struck by the connections between the HBC and other chartered companies. The governor of the HBC during the period 1712-43, Sir Bibye Lake, also effectively ran the Royal African Company for most of that period. Major customers of the HBC were members of the Russia Company, who exported much of their fur to European markets. The main defender of the HBC in the House of Commons in 1749, Sir John Barnard, had earlier defended the Levant Company. Finally, the HBC invested in a substantial portfolio of bonds of the East India Company. Looking at the historiography of the HBC, it appeared to me that, despite a huge body of work on the company, the vast majority of that work had taken the perspective of the company’s operations in Canada. This led me to question whether the unflattering view of the company typified by the phrase ‘asleep by a frozen sea’ would change if the company was viewed from the perspective of its British managers.

My approach to analyzing the HBC’s revenues, costs and cash flow owes a large debt to my earlier academic training (MBA from Concordia) and career in business. Based on my business experience, the way in which the HBC was managed in the first half of the eighteenth century seemed to be more recognizable and more modern than other chartered companies of the period. Several of the older chartered companies still resembled medieval guilds in some respects. The HBC was much smaller than the other companies but it was very much part of a dynamic commercial environment in Britain. In particular, I believe the way in which the HBC managed its finances was innovative and gave it a greater ability to withstand French competition in the fur trade than many have realized.


Michael Wagner’s article, “Asleep by a Frozen Sea or a Financial Innovator? The Hudson’s Bay Company, 1714-63″ appears in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadienne d’histoire. Read it today by clicking here: http://utpjournalsreview.com/index.php/CJOH/article/view/13000

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michael-brown-ferguson-missouri-2014-billboard-650Tensions have remained high in Ferguson, Missouri since Officer Darren Wilson shot 18 year-old Michael BrownCBC reported on Monday that Brown’s autopsy revealed that Officer Wilson had shot the teen six times, including one fatal shot to the head. According to Officer Wilson, Brown reached for his gun during  a struggle with police. However, Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former medical examiner for N.Y.C, performed the autopsy and said there was no sign of a struggle and that Brown “could have survived all of [his gunshot wounds], except for the one to the top of the brain.” Witnesses that were at the scene reported that Brown was surrendering, with his hands held above his head, when he was shot. His death has recently heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and the mostly white police department. In an effort to relieve the violence in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon called in the National Guard last week.

In volume 46 of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, author Thomas Gabor explores the controversy surrounding “racial profiling” and the debate that has ignited due to its varied connotations in “Inflammatory Rhetoric on Racial Profiling Can Undermine Police Services“. The article delves into the details of this tactic without focusing on specific instances, and discusses how its inflammatory nature can lead police departments to fall victim to an extreme and sometimes violent level of scrutiny, like what has occurred in Ferguson, Missouri.

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can.95.2_frontOn August 4, 2014 Canadians marked the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The centennial has not only given Canadians an opportunity to commemorate the anniversary and honour our fallen soldiers, but to discuss the war and the ways it has been studied, remembered, and forgotten over the past century. This conversation has brought together historians, the general public interested in the past, and the broader heritage community.

Over the past century, the Canadian Historical Review has constantly ignited scholarly discussion of the First World War. Since its first issue in 1920, numerous articles have been published directly related to the war, which reflect an impressive range of topics and methodologies as well as general trends in Canadian and international historiography. The history of the war and how historians have studied and taught it is, in no small measure, also the history of the CHR.

In honour of the 100th anniversary, the Canadian Historical Review has published a collection of scholarship on the war. All of the articles listed in this bibliography are available open access to the general public. You will find the bibliography complete with hyperlinks to each article on our website at http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/chr.95.1.97. We invite you to explore these articles and look forward to seeing how commemoration and new trends in scholarship will inspire future work in the Canadian Historical Review. Happy reading!

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map_1Twenty First Century maps depict an accurate representation of the province of New-foundland. However, it took many years of exploration and the work of many cartographers to reach this outcome. In the 17th-century, the illustrations cartographers developed reflect the his-tory of Newfoundland’s exploration and societal development.

In “The Seventeenth Century Cartography of Newfoundland”, from the 1971 edition of Cartographica, author Fabian O’Dea examines thirty-five illustra-tions of the chronological manner in which Newfoundland was shown on maps in the 17th-century.

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Irving Louis Horowitz Remembered by John Taylor

by cmacmillan on July 29, 2014

Irving Louis HorowitzThe new issue of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing includes a very special tribute to Irving Louis Horowitz. Often regarded by his colleagues as a force of nature, Horowitz was constantly making advances in American scholarship while simultaneously managing institutions and an academic career. His colleague, John Taylor, remembers Irving Louis Horowitz:

“I suspect that he was often drawn to what was unknown to him in disciplines lying outside of his immediate scholarly interests in the social sciences. His letters reveal an exceptional inquisitiveness, ever inviting his correspondents to teach him something that he might not know. This curiosity was genuinely extroverted—that is, neither selfserving nor ostentatious—and it was accompanied by a sort of benevolence that was expressed generously, straightforwardly. As I reread our correspondence, I am moved once again by his inspiring cordiality; even in technical messages about manuscripts, proofs, deadlines, and marketing matters, he always added something personal and uplifting.”

To learn more about the achievements of Irving Louis Horowitz and the impact he had on his colleagues lives, read “Remembering Irving Louis Horowitz 1929-2012” from the Journal of Scholarly Publishing.

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Canadian Journal of History author, Dr. Ian Germani, discusses the centenary of World War I

July 28, 2014

Written by guest blogger, Dr. Ian Germani. The First World War did much to shape the contours of the twentieth century and the world in which we now live. Many writers and historians have seen it as the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century. Indeed, we can see its imprint upon the Middle Eastern wars […]

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Throwback Thursday: Juvenile Delinquent Courts for Disobedient Women

July 17, 2014

Women in today’s society may not realize how far women’s rights and independence has progressed over the past century. Working women in the early 1900s were often expected to work low paying jobs, obey parental authority, and contribute to the family income and house-work. However, many acts of rebellion during this time hinted that social […]

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Journal of Scholarly Publishing Pays Tribute to Irving Louis Horowitz

July 11, 2014

The new issue of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing includes a very special tribute to Irving Louis Horowitz. Irving Louis Horowitz was a distinguished professor of Sociology and Political Science, a prolific author, and Chairman of the Board as well as Editorial Director of Transaction Publishers. Often regarded by his colleagues as a force of […]

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UTP Celebrates WorldPride: Pride and Popular Culture

July 3, 2014

The last century has been a long and hard fought battle for members of LGBTIQQ2SA communities to achieve equal human rights. In recent days, countless celebrities have recently participated in advocacy campaigns to fight for awareness for homosexual rights. Celebrities such as Daniel Radcliffe, Ellen DeGeneres, Josh Hutcherson, Anne Hathaway, and Brad Pitt among many […]

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UTP Celebrates WorldPride: Pride and the Theatre

June 30, 2014

Theatre, like many other art forms, is often a response to the world the artist lives in. For artists who are also members of the LGBTIQQ2SA community, this used to mean that the theatre they created was filled with adversity, discrimination, and even sometimes violence, reflected in plays like The Normal Heart, Another American: Asking […]

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