Harold Innis and The Fur Trade

Harold Innis And The Fur Trade

Harold Adams Innis (November 5, 1894 – November 8, 1952) was a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto and the author of seminal works on Canadian economic history and on media and communication theory. He helped develop the staples thesis which holds that Canada's culture, political history and economy have been decisively influenced by the exploitation and export of a series of staples such as fur, fish, wood, wheat, mined metals and fossil fuels.

Harold Innis's classic study The Fur Trade in Canada, (1930) draws sweeping conclusions about the complex and frequently devastating effects of the fur trade on aboriginal peoples; about how furs as staple products induced an enduring economic dependence among the European immigrants who settled in the new colony and about how the fur trade ultimately shaped Canada's political destiny.

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Harold Innis And The Fur Trade - Assessment
... Historian Carl Berger notes that it took 15 years to sell the first thousand copies of The Fur Trade in Canada ... According to Berger, Innis showed that Canada was far from "a fragile political creation and that its existence represented the triumph of human will and determination." He replaced ... Berger refers to the "sense of fatalism and determinism in Innis's economic history" adding that for Innis, material realities determined history, not language ...

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