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1st Lecture

Course Code
Alison Smith

of 3
Immigration and Early Canada, 1500-1760 July 5th, 2011
1500: Rough start of contact between Europe and North America
1800: Renaissance of New France
St Lawrence Iroquois Territory in about 1535
Lower St Lawrence: contact with Christopher Columbus era
Settlement does not last very long due to conflicts with the natives
Before Christopher Columbus or Jacques Cartier, there were other forms of contacts with North
America and Europe due to fishing – going on by the 15th century or perhaps earlier – predates
Columbus and Cartier
It is possible that Columbus and Cartier knew about the stories of these land and want to
capitalize on them
Financial backing to get a good ship
1534/1535: three different voyages
1st voyage: build on pattern of European fishes
Cartier plants French vegetables – to demonstrate that they change the nature of a place
Samuel de Champlain
Next person for European expedition in 1608
They already know where theyre going due to Cartier’s publication of the trip
Wants to concentrate their efforts – finds the area much less populated than before
Disease explains why Champlain shows up there were not many people around
Another reason could be a different language group
Native Americans knew that it was European diseases that were affecting them
No voyages from Cartier until Champlain
Is successful of setting up the settlement – QUEBEC in 1608
Was lucky with not a lot of natives around – could capitalize on the resources in the area
Immigration and Early Canada, 1500-1760 July 5th, 2011
Makes a decision on arrival to make friends in the area – learn about the region and protect
Make friends with Hurons
Algonquin were semi-nomadic people
Iroquois were agriculture – did not live near Quebec
Other forms of exchange – metal objects (pots and kettles), diseases, metal hatches. On the other
hand natives wanted tobacco, snowshoe
Got to know each other languages, exchange (each side learnt)
17th Century New France
Next 60 years, tenuous outposts that were designed for the fur trade
Furs were popular but it was not very profitable
Interested in missionizing (converting) people to Christianity
Number of different missionary groups – evangelical were one of the two long-lasting
Trade, missionary often went together in the alliance with Champlains relationship with the
People in the trading had to convert to Christianity in order to benefit from that
Idea that if they became Catholics, both sides were not become enemies
In the 50 year period after 1608, not many settlement because not many major settlement. No
money and time was spent on settlement because it was focused on trade
If you create settlement, the things that you are trying to trade are driven away – puts stress on
the resources on the area
New France is essentially funded as a private business – Royal Government is not heavily
1663: New France made a royal colony: idea to transform it from a tenuous outposts to a
substantial colony of its own. Expand settlement and increase population, make it less vulnerable
France wanted to distract Britain from medling with European affairs: one good way to do this is
to preoccupy the British in North America – make New France a threat to the British (King
Louise the 14th)
Economic development strategies, send more people to New France – immigrants
Immigration and Early Canada, 1500-1760 July 5th, 2011
Population in 1660: 3000
Different categories of immigrants
Filles du roi: daughters of the King – 1663-1673: nearly 800 French women of marriage-ble age
were sent over to get married and increase the population of New France. Ratio of men to women
in 1660 was 8:1. Women were married in 2 weeks and in some form of dowry
Engages: other male immigrants – literally means engaged. Worked as a servant with terms of
service of three years and were labour workers. Had to do any job that they were told to do. Had
the option to stay or return to France
Soldiers: To beef up security and had the option to stay or return to France
CENTRALLY DIRECTED IMMIGRATION POLICY: to make New France more self-sufficient
and better protected
Natural increase due to a high birth rate continued in France through the 18th century
New France
Agricultural society – engaged in organized Seigneurs (feudal social arrangement and division of
land). As a settlement, it was efficient. It keeps people neighbours. As families grow, they could
acquire more land if they were given permission for it.
Hierarchical society
Patriarchal and materialistic: concentrated in the hands of men and families were organized in a
patriarchal structure. Families were important economic and political unit, there were no
institution then the church, women as a result had more freedom and opportunity than living in
Farmers in New France were called Habitants and Canadians