HIS102Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Mercantilism

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Published on 4 Dec 2011
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Lecture 3: 09/21/10
Population circa 1700:
France – 21 million
England/Scotland/Ireland – 7 million
Russia – 7 million
-In 1600, there are no permanent European settlers in the Americas, north of Florida
-In part, this is because England and France were both preoccupied with religious
ferment the normal condition of Europe is divided (hostility transcends national
borders)
-Europeans are very agitated by the idea of “salvation”: this is why France and
England were backwards in the pursuit for dominance in the Americas
-In the 1600s, the populations of France, Russia, England, and Spain were similar,
however by the 1700s, there is a huge change. France becomes (by far) the largest
country in Europe.
- Thus, we would expect France to be a huge economic and political power;
however, France was still preoccupied with religious wars and needed to
organize itself
-The king of England was Catholic, then converted in Protestantism in the 1590s,
the French state becomes more organized until the 16th century
-By the 1700s, the French army grew to 300 000 (the French have a great military
power) the economy must be at a size to support the population; it was, however,
location-wise, France was not located perfectly (in terms of economics) and its
neighbors had better organized economies
-Britain is the largest of the 3 kingdoms (Scotland and Ireland being the other two),
however it was far behind France in terms of military might and population size
-However, unlike France, England developed a system called “representative
government”: the monarchy shared power with a parliament until the 1640s when
the central government became much stronger due to inner conflict; a strong
monarchy was reestablished
-Thus, the army of England was much stronger than the disparity in population with
France would make it appear; also, France is not as well organized as England (the
English financial system is stronger)
Population in North America:
Acadia – 1500
New France – 12 000
British colonies – 200 000
-At the beginning of the 17th century, the geography of North America is well
understood
-Henry Hudson goes into the Hudson harbor to find the Hudson River - in 1610, he
discovered Hudson Bay (when he found it, he thought he found the road to China).
He traveled fairly deep into the bay when he realized it was not.
-Hudson Bay did not tempt Champlain
-Champlain was a follower of Henry the 4th; he was a navigator and a very good
writer, allowing him to petition to people to support his cause
-He is sent by Henry the 4th to explore and colonize America. His 1st settlement fails
outright, his 2nd settlement (Port Royal) is more successful due to a more hospitable
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