Origins - Chapter 05 Five.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
Thomas Socknat

Jason Ho Canadian History Page 1 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12 Origins: Canadian History to Confederation Textbook Notes Chapter Five: Province de France, 1663–1760 The First Half-Century of Royal Government  Louis XIV also known as the “Sun King” came to power in 1661 and ruled an absolute monarchy in France until his death in 1715.  The king wanted to make New France a province under his direct rule and had Jean-Baptiste Colbert as minister of the marine (colonies) attempt to make mercantilism succeed.  Like other Western European governments were doing at the time, mercantilism meant all trades were done under one flag/government (traders/shippers/products). Doing so would in turn make the country in question rich.  Colbert sought a triangle network between France, New France and the French Caribbean  Colbert also wanted to make New France more self-reliant and become more compact without unnecessary forts and outposts along its borders, and opposing to western expansion as well. The Reform of the Seigneurial System  The seigneurial system formed the basis of land tenure in France, which states that title of all the land rested with the king who grants estates as he saw fit and everything on it aside from the topsoil belonged to the monarch.  The seigneurs then had to recruit censitaires (habitants) to cultivate the land and in turn they had to pay them rent and dues for living on their land.  As a new province of France they had to reform the seigneurial system that had been in use in New France since 1627 when the Company of One Hundred Associates were granted with the rights over the land.  Under the reformed system, the intendant would grant and oversee all seigneuries and on his arrival in 1665, Jean Talon made occupancy Jason Ho Canadian History Page 2 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12 a condition of all future grants. He and his successors also kept the size of the seigneuries small to prevent a chance of power struggle.  By 1715 nearly 200 seigneuries were open for settlement along the St. Lawrence between Montreal and Quebec The Obligations of the Seigneurs and the Censitaires  The seigneurs obligations were to maintain a manor house and reside there throughout the year, create land grants up to 80 hectares to settlers, establish a church and a flourmill for the censitaires and maintain a court of law for all minor disputes.  The censitaires had to build their own house, clear land, pay their seigneur the cens (small cash payment) and rentes (another money payment). They also had to pay the seigneur one sack of flour for every fourteen they churn out from using the flourmill.  In a few seigneuries, the seigneur had the droit de corvée (right to forced labour) usually three days per year, determined by contract. They also were required by the Crown to work without pay for a day or two per year for maintenance work on roads and bridges  Upon meeting all the requirements, the censitaires became virtual landowners which gets passed onto their children or have to right to sell to buyers with a tax paid to the seigneur  Many seigneurs in pioneer times lived and worked as the censitaires did and thus blurred the social distinctions between them as they had prevailed in France.  Social mobility was also available to select handful of enterprising early settlers who eventually became seigneurs themselves such as Pierre Boucher in 1654 and then was elevated to governorship of Trois-Rivières. The Growth of Settlement  To help populate the seigneuries, Colbert and Jean Talon worked to correct a social imbalance in the colony where there was a shortage of French women. In Montreal in 1663 there was only one eligible woman for every eight men. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 3 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12 The Daughters of the King  Colbert sought out women that had a good moral character and strong enough to work in the fields. At first the Crown selected orphanage girls but were proven not rugged enough, they then sought out country girls that were later called filles du roi (“daughters of the king”)  The king provided substantial dowries (the king’s gift) usually consisting of clothing, household supplies. The state sent out nearly 800 filles du roi between 1663 and 1673. After they arrive in Quebec, the Ursulines and Hospital sisters looked after them.  The girls had their own choosing of husbands, which there were plenty of because the government started to fine bachelors and deny them trading rights.  The men had to declare their possessions to the “directress” in charge of the girls who then passed the information along to them.  Even if the man had built a home already, life would be difficult for the women still, as marriage contracts were bound for life. They would need to help clear and maintain farmland and live through harsh Canadian winters.  The French settlers have long learned to adjust to the winter conditions, by having ice cellars for meat. Being able to keep livestock in winter so they can eat fresh meat and past season’s vegetables to prevent scurvy.  Colbert also sent livestock to Canada at the Crown’s expense to make settlers’ lives easier, with the horses first arriving in 1665 and by 1720s there was one horse for every five settlers. The Engagés  In the mid to late 1660s the Crown sent several hundred engagés (indentured workers) to the colony annually bounded by three- year contracts.  They were tied to settlers, merchants or the religious community and received a modest wage for their work, which usually amounted to heavy labour such as dock work, construction, and clearing land for farming. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 4 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12  In the 1650s nearly half of them stayed after their term of service and began farming on their own.  In total the Crown sent nearly 4000 men and women to Canada by 1672, many died of disease either on the voyage on in the colony. Nonetheless, New France’s population grew from 3000 in 1663 to nearly 10 000 a decade later, settling along the St. Lawrence between Quebec and Montreal. An Early French Immigrant  Étienne Trudeau came from the city of La Rochelle in western France and arrived in Montreal in 1659.  He was a master carpenter at age 18 and signed a contract for five years of service in the military with the Sulpician Fathers. Three years into his service he and two others were ambushed by 50 Iroquois and survived the attack.  In 1667, the year of the Iroquois peace treaty, 26-year-old Étienne married Adrienne Barbier, daughter of a carpenter who was one of the original twelve colonists to arrive in Montreal in 1642.  They had four children; Étienne lived as a farmer, carpenter, and stonemason and died in 1712.  Pierre Elliott Trudeau was the ninth-generation descendant. The Settlement of the St. Lawrence Valley  The St. Lawrence River remained the colony’s main thoroughfare and frontage along the water highway was always most sought after. The settlers also wanted to be close together in case of any Iroquois attacks.  The French state achieved significant population growth from 1663 to 1672 as the women sent out in Colbert’s great wave of immigrants married and produced large families.  The state encouraged births by offering baby bonuses to families with ten or more living children. Families tended to give birth to an average of eight or nine children, however one out of every five children died in their first year. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 5 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12  By 1700 the average age women married were 22 as opposed to 16, 40 years earlier, and the average age men married was 28.  Even with a smallpox epidemic that killed nearly 1000 people in 1701, the population doubled every 25 years. Colbert’s Administrative Reforms  To mark New France’s status as a royal colony, Colbert established administrative structures identical to those already existing in France with King Louis XIV delegating powers to his ministers (Colbert) who are assisted by his commis (secretary).  The colony was administered by the Sovereign Council, which was headed by a governor and intendant both appointed by the king. The Governor  The governor general held supreme authority, usually a noble and a soldier, he ensured the other officials discharge their responsibilities.  Having undisputed control over military affairs, officers would even have to receive permission before marrying. He conducts all diplomatic relations with neighbouring Amerindians and the English colonies.  Governors of Montreal and Trois-Rivières answer only to him, who serves as Quebec governor as well.  Most notable governors were Daniel de Rémy de Courcelle (1665– 1672) and Comte de Frontenac (1672–82 and 1689–98) both spent much time dealing with the First Nations and the English.  Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial (1755–60) was the only Canadian-born governor of New France. The Intendant  The intendant’s official responsibilities were justice, public order, and finance, having a good education background and usually extensive legal training.  They ran most of the daily affairs of New France such as budgets for both army and colony. Also they headed the police and looked after road construction and maintenance. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 6 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12  Deputy intendants were eventually needed as the population increased in Montreal, Trois-Rivières, and Detroit, who all answered to him serving in Quebec.  Many quarrels ever had between the intendant and governor because of overlapping powers, though they were eventually properly defined by the minister of the marine their respective roles  Powers of the intendant were later enhanced considerably where it involved the Sovereign Council (renamed Superior Council 1703) being able to preside over the meetings.  Most notable intendants of New France were Jean Talon (1665–68, 1669–72), Gilles Hocquart (1731–48) and François Bigot (1748– 60) The Bishop  The bishop played a role in political life of the colony ranking second to the governor that is until their powers of office were significantly reduced after 1663 when François de Laval clashed with the governor.  The Crown respected the social and religious role of the church but opposed any political authority it might claim.  Jean-Baptiste de La Croix de Chevrières de Saint-Vallier (1688–- 1727) served after Laval, waging war against drunkenness, blasphemy, dancing, and immodest dress.  At the beginning period of royal government, Louis XIV and Colbert feared the excessive authority of the clergy in New France whom had run of the colony for 30 years. Thus Colbert instructed the governor and intendant to subordinate the church to the authority of the state.  After 1663, the king nominated the bishop and contributed 40% of the colonial church’s finances in order to influence them. The Sovereign Council  The Sovereign Council or Superior Council as it was known after 1703, both made laws and heard criminal and civil cases. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 7 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12  Appeals could be heard from the three lower courts in Montreal, Trois-Rivières and Quebec, which applied the municipal laws drawn up by the Sovereign Council.  As litigations in the colony increased, the council restricted itself to legal functions and the intendant enacted legislations. The Captain of Militia  Colbert established the office of captain of militia in 1669 by having the intendant organize the male population into militia units separated by parishes and appointed the most respected habitants as captains to command them.  The office carried no salary but brought considerable status, prestige and becoming the most influential men in their communities.  They also acted as the intendant’s agents communicating regulations and ordinances to the habitants such as directing corvèes for work on bridges and roads. Public Meetings  Colbert made no provision for local self-government. People could not call meetings or arrange public assembly, as government came from above not below.  Occasionally the governor and the intendant consulted the public on issues of general interest as they called 17 assemblies overall between 1672 and 1700.  The authorities did legislate in accordance with public opinion though they were not bound to do so.  In 1709 in Quebec and 1717 in Montreal, the governor and intendant also permitted the merchants to establish chambers of commerce which a nominated member inform the government, how best to promote commerce. The Lower Courts  The lower courts in Quebec, Montreal and Trois-Rivières stood below the Sovereign Council. Judges of these courts applied municipal legislation such as regulations on street traffic, road maintenance, garbage disposal and fire prevention. Jason Ho Canadian History Page 8 JWH100Y1 September 27, 12  A few most populated seigneuries also had seigneurial courts, which heard minor civil disputes.  In 1664 the law for the area around Paris or Custom of Paris (coutume de Paris) became the colony’s legal code. Today’s Civil Code in Quebec was evolved from this.  In reforming New France’s justice system, Colbert ensured that justice would be provided with minimal expense by banning lawyers from practicing in the colony; whereby citizens argued their own civil cases in court.  Notaries drew up legal contracts instead of lawyers and by 1700; the colony supported four in Quebec, three in Montreal, and one at Trois-Rivières.  The Crown enforced a tariff of modest fees that legal officials, from judges to bailiffs can charge.  The courts operated similarly to the ones in France, when a crime is committed the local magistrate/attorney general of the Sovereign Council orde
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