France in Canada

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Canadian Studies Sept 19th
France in Canada
- England will become that commercial empire, Francis doesn’t develop the
trading triangle.
- English supremacy is the background story.
New France is a corporate colony until 1663. Royal authority is indirect and
companies have king-like powers of justice, warfare, etc.
Corporate rule fails and the King Louis XIV assumes direct control in 1663, tries to
balance commercial and political interests.
- Peripheries remain largely ungoverned, violent place (Newfoundland,
Acadia, Hudson’s Bay, western interior)
- Strategic importance of Canada grows and by the mid 18th century fuels a
world war that France cannot contain (WEB CT)
- French crown licenses companies (serially): they own New France more or
less outright in return for settling the land and upholding French interests
- Only serious one Is Hundred Associates of 1627 1663
- Virtually a crown corporation: Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu sink money
into it (immediately lost to privateers) and refuse to let it go bankrupt. They
fed up of all the companies who don’t do anything. Want a serious colony, by
1620’s that want a serious strategic presence in New France.
- Beaver trade becomes more lucrative in the 17th century, period of
commercial ambiguity beginning. but the profits are never enough to pay for
the … infrastructure. Doesn’t produce enough wealth to fund a nation,
enough to make people rich.
- 1603 to 1635 Champlain provides much continuity. Had to find a way to
satisfy everyone (Different traditions: clashes of justice in killing each other
from both France and Indians)
- Allied with the Innu/Montagnais and their allies: Abenaki, Mi’kmaq, Maliseet.
- Champlain’s trading network expands westward to include Algonquin in
Ottawa valley and the Huron or Wendat around Georgian Bay, who have
extensive trading networks
o Iroquois are allied with Dutch and Enlgish, form trading relations with
- French insist that missionaries must accompany fur traders, First Recollets
then Jesuits settle in Wendake.
- Fur trade expands in 1620s, 1630’s and beaver wars break out
- Iroquois push eastward (1620s) and then northward across the St Lawrence
- Perhaps for the beavers, perhaps to replenish populations decimated by
epidemics (flu, smallpox, measles).
o Not beaver wars, mourning wars. Furs were running out hugely
important to have networks of reproduction for new blood, new
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