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Northwest Mounted Police

Northwest Mounted Police: Precursor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (The Mounties), the North West Mounted Police were a paramilitary force, formed in 1873 to help restore and maintain peace in the newly acquired territories of Western Canada. After the Canadian government purchased Rupert's Land from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1869 the unpoliced territories were quickly infiltrated by American whisky traders who were causing great disruptions by trading cheap liquor in exchange for furs with the native population. The original Force consisted of 300 men who traveled west from Manitoba and set up their first post at Fort Macleod in what is now southern Alberta. Once order had been restored the force went on to patrol the borders, maintain peace in the region, oversee the western extension of the Canadian Pacific Railway and help waves of settlers adjust to their new homeland in the west. By 1920 the Force had become national and their name officially became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.