New France and the Hierarchies of the Soil Monday October 1 2012st
The habitant was the majority of French speakers in North America. They are the
ones who put down permanent residences.
Monarchy made the decision
1608, after an attempt to settle in Port Royale, they tried to settle in Quebec. Samuel
de Champlain works on a fort when the St. Lawrence River narrows.
1663, Louis XIV: decides to turn Quebec into a royal colony. Things start to pick up.
Land to be distributed by seignieurs. Their job was to attract settlers.
Free hold land system: Modern system – private property.
France: “Nulle terre sans seignieur” - Always a struggle for power
So, who owns the land?
King- King could retake the land whenever he wanted. Habitants had to repay the
king with military service.
Habitant- farm working on the land. If they maintained it well; could keep, sell, and
give up in their wills
Seigneurs- Could revoke any selling of the land. Controlled the habitants. Kicks off
habitants to sell.