Lecture 1: Migration and Colonization in Early Canada
• ‘Early Canada,’ a convenient term for historians
• immigration 1500-1770s—the flow of immigrants into Canada during this time was sporadic , they settled in a
scattered pattern, tiny settlements, few connected to one another, they had a great significant, b/c both the French
and the English empire both tried to settle in this part of the world.
• But Aboriginal ppl were the first and founding ppl of Canada
• Sources: ship cargos, although most records are limited, but their not specific, there’s some gov’t documents
produced by both French and English who were trying to oversee whats going on, they tend to be good record
keepers, but this is a top down view of the world, they were not interested in the every day, they were interested
in strategy and economic advantages, another one is advertisments, ship captins looking for cargo, sometimes
they look for ppl, they treated immigrants like the other cargo, in order to find the cargo they had to advertise,
what is missing is accounts by the immigrants themselves, bc most of them couldn’t write, if they did those
records were lost. Only highly educated ppl wrote thigns down.
• Note on sources: virtual absence of personal accounts
• European Expansion in the Americas: Gold, God, and Glory
• Christopher Columbus in 42—he alerted Europeans to the riches and prospects of that side of the Atlantic, they
were looking for quantities of Fish and it was the fishing expodition that alerted the Europeans about Canada
• Gold: they came with economic motives to profit to exploit the resources and the wealth, initially the interest was
in Gold, they didn’t find mich gold but they did find other economic motivations, mainly to do with fidh and
fure that drew ppl to this region
• God: imitus from the Catholic church, they send a significant number of missionaries, to convert aboriginals and
save the savages and covert them into Christians, the impact of the missions in terms of immigrants, they did not
procrteat or contribute to the natural increase of the population.
• Glory: they sought prestige and glory through acquiring vast terrirories in the new wold, english monarchs
competed for colonies in Canada as a way of reinforcing tgheir terrirorial claims for the region, they fought with
one another commercially and militarily. Much of the terrirorial claims depended on the alliance with the
Aboriginals. They had a weak claim to much of the terrirory, but for any hold it was through alliances with the
Aboriginals. It order to have real hold on the region they realized they needed to colonize the place by placing
their own ppl there.
• Canada (the St Lawrence Valley)
• New France is Called Canada Explored in 1530s and claimed by France
• Quebec city is Quebec today.
• First colonial settlement at Quebec
• Samuel de Champlain in 1608 –founder father of Quebec
• They wanted to outsource the jobs to proprietors—biz men on contract with French govt
• Aboriginal ppl did all the work and they gav it to the French who then sold it abroad
• 3000 arrivals by 1660s
• Rotak untervention 1663
• Substantial immigration in 1660 and 1670s
• By 1760s: 27000 immigrants arrivals
• 10000-12000 immigrants stayed
• total pop 75000 in 1760
• a rural population of farm families
• they recruited immigrants as promised to the French crown, only 20000 immigrants came to the st. Lawrence
1 valley, most of them moved back to France
• nevertheless they had large families and contributed to population growth of 75000 by 1760
• the vast majority of these immigrants settled on the land to farm in rural areas. Their interest was mainly to grow
items to feed their own family—subsistance agriculture
o proprietors, immigrant agents, and the French state
o who were the immigrants in the St. Lawrence valley?
o The Immigrants
· ½ rural/1/2 urban origins and destinations—Paris and Western port towns such as La
· male contract workers, soldiers, artisans—the only way they came to work was to pay
the return ticket –many of them were migrants who planned to go back home. The
soldiers—most were men who have been stationed to defend the colony from attacks of
Aboriginal ppl and the British who attacked the st. Lawrence valley. Rather than
bringing them home they gave them land grants to enourage them to become farmers to
help populate the region. The problem was –there was a heavy imbalance of the sex
ration, mostly men over women. It was the French king who decided to do something
about it, he decided to bring over a significant number of single young women, so they
would marry the local settlers and help populate the region. Those single immigrants
· les filles du roi or the King’s daughter
· 770 women under 25 during the 1660s—many recruited in paris in the orfanages, their
way was paid for by the French crown. Considerable effort made to ensure the women
were healthy brides. They married instantly and had 10 kids. There was no second
attempt of this.
· involuntary immigrants: criminals 720, captives 500, African slaves 320—this was legal
at this time the French govt did support this. Most of these slaves came from the
Carrabin or cargo for sale. Most of them were household servants
· Why so few immigrants in Can at this time? It was the image of Canada in France, most
ppl if they knew anything, they learned about Canada from the missionaries, they would
travel home or send word home and tell stories about the struggle of the missions to get
funding. They would say they suffered tremendously and that its risky. That’s why it
didn’t appeal to a lot of ppl. Also French ppl were disinclined to migrate, not to
anywhere around the world in large numbers, maybe about their cultural attitudes about
migration and the security of the land –they were happy enough to stay put, unlike the
Brits. Also the crown said that only Roman Catholics were encouraged to migrate. In the
17thc protestant crowns were being harrased by the states and were looking to move but
they couldn’t come to Canada b/c of French regulation.
· Peace treaty 1760—that it’s a British colony?
• Acadia—marrytime provinces –a region of imperial rivary where brits and French fought over this
region. Ppl guarded the st. Lawrence valley. Similarily, the brits guarded what they called Nova Scotia.
o Settlement—earlies was by the French on the bay of fundy, at about the same time tha