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LWSO203 - French Legal History.docx

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University of Calgary
Law and Society
LWSO 203
Marywyatt Sindlinger

Historical Development of Canadian Law French Influences 1) French Colonization of North America Jacques Cartier : 1534-35 First European to sail up the St. Lawrence Purposes of discovery – religious and economic -brought catholicism Samuel de Champlain Founder of New France 1608 -built “habitation” in Quebec city, Economic activities – fur trade, obtain rights of exploitation (got there first so they could exploit resources), made contacts with native suppliers and made some treaties Governance – left to private companies in return for exclusive right to resources (fairly lawless) Religious – many missionaries (roman catholic and Jesuit), few conversions (they were unsuccessful) Roi Lous XIV 1663 – control of colony returned to king (companies weren’t working so King took power again) Made New France a province of France (no longer a colony, French law applies) Governance – Governeur (military and external matters) and Intendent (internal matterss- justice, administration, finance) Filles de Roi – French women to marry settlers (the men needed women to marry, sent ~800 women to Canada, paid their way there and their dowries) -Pop grew to 70,000 native born, French speaking settlers 2) French Law – Coutume de Paris - 1663 Coutume = custom Law that was going to be applied in New France -In France there were many types of law and each region had its own customs and form of law which they applied) -Paris had a developed system which was chosen to use in New France, however law was still vague and open to interpretation Contract law – fairness over certainty Preservation of family property (Paris custom supports personal land and the ability
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