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Lecture 6

HIST 1F96 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Quebec French, Final Good, Seigneurial System Of New France

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Tami Friedman

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Land and Labour in New France
October 29th, 2013
Terms: censitaires, cens et rentes, corvee
1. Rise of the Fur Trade:
- Since 1608, the first permanent settlement, basis of New France’s economy is
the fur trade
- French trade metal pots, knives, wool blankets and beads for Natives furs
- Most labour is done by Natives who bring fur pelts to French forts to trade, little
encouragement for French to come to New France
Coureurs de Bois:
- Frenchmen involved in fur trade became involved in Native culture (learned
languages, wore Native clothing, used snowshoes, travelled by canoes, married
Native women)
European Competitors:
- French faced competition from British in Massachusetts and Dutch in Albany in
New Amsterdam colony
- English and Dutch traded guns for fur, French began this too – increase in
- Natives could play European powers off one another with best deals
Rise of Alcohol:
- Europeans realized once Natives had enough manufactured good they needed a
new thing to trade
- To meet demand for furs Europeans introduced alcohol to fur trade (could, be
consumed at fort, addiction could cause constant supply of furs)
Consequences of the Fur Trade:
- Intense Native rivalries and violent wars
- Devastating effect of alcohol addiction
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