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The Church and Just Price

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Chapter Summary

The Church had long contended that fur traders allowed to roam the forests far from regularized exchanges constituted a grave threat to the colony. Such trading removed Frenchmen from the colony, beyond the church's teaching, and especially the holy sacraments. The church, like the propertied ranks, had practical reasons for lamenting any departure from strictly organized town Indian fairs or marts. In the time of the 100 Associates, an early colonizing company before the royal province was established in 1663, the Jesuits had enjoyed an enviable source of revenue with the trade's close regulation within the colony. The church framed its charges against inland trading on the premise that Europeans had a fiduciary responsibility for Indians in commercial matters that made the supervised market an absolute necessity. The church's identification of fiduciary responsibility in commerce was itself drawn from long-standing ethnological currents of thought.

Keywords: Church; European commerce; France; inland trade; Jesuits



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