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Lecture

the royal takeover and the transformation of new france


Department
History
Course Code
HIS263Y1
Professor
Mc Kim/ Penfold

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The Royal Takeover and the Clash of Empires
I. The Royal Takeover
1661: Louis XIV, “ Sun King”: rises to the thrown of France. He is an absolutist
monarch, which means that there is an effort/desire to concentrate all authority in the
hands of one individual to exert absolute power
His absolutist tendencies are demonstrated in one statement:I am the state”
Continued to govern in an absolute approach until his death
He is known as the Sun King as he was the center of everything; he embodies the
power and grandeur of the French state; this is evident in his conduct
Like his predecessor, he was a strong believer in the economic philosophy of
mercantilism. Broadly speaking, it is essentially state control of the economy;
however, there is a more precise definition: colonies existed in order to benefit the
Mother Country. He follows with this policy
J.B Colbert: minister of the marine; he is they colonial minister. Oversees the
ministration of France’s colonies, including NF
They seek to transform NF and turn it into a French province. They seek to export
to north America the governmental structure, and economic systems that exist in
France itself. This desire finds expression in the royal takeover in 1663.
Prior to 1663, NF had various characteristics (3): French imperial authorities
interesting in promoting settlement (migration), wanted to participate in
commercial activity with indigenous populations (trade), missionary prders were
interested in penetrating indigenous population and win them over in hope of
saving their souls with Christianity
However, it is scattered.
Main objectives: bring these different characteristics under the umbrella of the
absolutist French state. Consolidate French empire
Governmental change: impose on NF the governmental structures of France itself. At the
top of the structure was Louis himself. They key ideological justification that allows him
to occupy this position is something called the divine right of kinfs: notion that maintains
that political authority stems from divinity (God himself), rather than consent from
people. God rules over earth, but so too do monarchs rule over their subjects. Sees
himself as the embodiment of the state, because he has been given the right to rule from
God.
Day to day administration is done by other people (in particular, people located in
the colony itself who exercise political authority)
3 key figures who controlled the political development of NF:
Governor (military officer, and also someone of noble birth). The governor is the
supreme authority within NF itself. Responsible for military and diplomatic
affairs.
Intendant: an immensely important figure, while technically not important as the
governor. He, is responsible for civil administration (finances, illegal affairs, etc)
Roman Catholic Bishop: Authority is limited. There were concerns that the
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