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        Steamboats on the Red: A Monopoly Generates Competition, Manipulation, and Piracy

        In the Red River Valley, a monopoly developed in the steamboat trade, and two separate attempts were made to provide competition. The first ended when the competitors joined forces and returned the steamboat industry back to a monopoly; the second when the larger company sank their competitor’s boats. From 1859 to 1909, steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.


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