Money and the Changing Nature of Colonial Space in Northern Quebec: Fur Trade Monopolies, the State, and Aboriginal Peoples during the Nineteenth Century
Abstract

An examination of the shifting boundaries of monetary space in nineteenth-century Quebec underlines the importance of currency to the processes of colonial expansion and state formation. As the Hudson’s Bay Company’s imperially backed corporate currency was gradually replaced with money that drew its legitimacy from colonial governors and legislatures, regions previously beyond the pale of settler society were reconceptualized as being part of the political space of “Canada.” This article examines the monetary experience of First Nations in Saguenay-Lac St. Jean, tracing the structural changes to the monetary system wrought by the replacement of British claims to sovereignty, embodied in the fur trade, by those based on settler colonialism. The region’s Indigenous population played a central role in this transformation.


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