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Beginning with Jacques Cartier's exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 1534 and concluding with the transfer and ceding of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris, New France was the area settled by France in North America.
In 1712, New France's large territory was divided into five colonies, each with its own administration. Canada, the most developed, was separated into the districts of Quebec, Trois-Rivieres, and Montreal. The other colonies included Hudson Bay, Acadie in the northeast, Plaisance on Newfoundland's island, and Louisiane. It stretched from Newfoundland to the Canadian Prairies, from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, and included all of North America's Great Lakes.
In what is now eastern Canada, la Nouvelle France of the French Crown comprised the St. Lawrence River, Newfoundland, and Acadia (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick).
It progressively extended French colonization west and south, eventually encompassing land in what is now the US.
From the Appalachians in the east to Missouri River in the west as well as from Great Lakes in the north, to the Gulf of Mexico in the south, this region covered a vast space.
New France was founded as part of a massive wave of European exploration efforts in the 16th century. France grew interested in nautical exploration after following in the footsteps of other European countries (England, Spain, and Portugal) and the expeditions to America by Christopher Columbus in 1492, John Cabot in 1497, and the Corte-Real brothers.
Giovanni Verrazzano sailed around America's eastern coast from Florida to Newfoundland in 1524. Jacques Cartier went on three more expeditions of exploration after that. In 1534, he planted a cross in Gaspe to take control of the territory in the name of the King of France. The following year, he traveled up St. Lawrence, stopping in Stadacona (now Quebec City) for the winter before continuing on to Hochelaga (present-day Montreal). 25 of his men died of scurvy during the winter. He returned to France in 1536.
He returned to America in 1540-1541 and attempted to found a colony at the mouth of the Cap-Rouge River. While the professed motivation for organizing these journeys was religious, commercial considerations took precedence. The hope and pursuit of finding a way to India were repeatedly expressed. In 1534, the monarch tasked Jacques with 'discovering various islands and countries where enormous quantities of gold and other riches are reported to be found.' During his final voyage, the explorer claimed to have discovered materials that he thought were gold and diamonds. In reality, it was just iron ore and quartz. France lost interest in that faraway nation at this moment and didn't return until the end of the 16th century.
The French, in the meantime, and even before the arrival of the famous explorers, were interested in the region's fishing opportunities. The presence of Basque, Breton, and Norman fishermen on Newfoundland's Grand Banks has been verified from the early 16th century.
Fishermen began drying fish on the region's beaches as early as 1550, making contact with indigenous peoples and bringing furs back to France. A number of fishermen shifted to the fur trade between 1580 and 1590. The French rule was eventually drawn further into the interior of the continent as a result of these activities. Thus, the exploration of America was based on private enterprise.
In 1608, Samuel de Champlain, the founder of New France, founded a town in what is now Quebec City. His goal, like Jacques Cartier's, was to find a way to India. This agreement addressed economic imperatives, such as getting closer to fur-rich areas, strengthening ties with Indigenous suppliers, and promoting the acquisition of trade privileges. The breadth of the project necessitated the formation of trading businesses.
The fort at Quebec attracted few residents, prompting Cardinal Richelieu, France's top minister, to establish the Company of New France (Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France), also known as the Company of the Hundred Associates, in 1627. It was granted the province of New France, which at the time included the entire St. Lawrence Valley, and was to enjoy complete control over the fur trade for 15 years, beginning in 1629. In exchange, it was to transport 200-300 settlers to New France each year.
However, conflict with England broke out, the company's first fleet was captured, and Quebec succumbed to the English in 1629. The Treaty of Saint-Germain restored it in 1632, but the Company of New France never recovered, although it continued to control New France until 1663. For many years, French colonization was slow, and everyone except the missionaries was preoccupied with the fur trade.
In 1663, King Louis XIV decided to abolish the Company of New France's charter and transform the colony into a royal province, with a governor serving as the colony's ceremonial and military leader.
In addition to establishing a royal settlement, the king dispatched a military commander, Alexandre de Prouville de Tracy, with a regiment of soldiers who fought the Iroquois in 1666 and compelled them to sign a peace treaty. After that, it was feasible to settle and build New France.
In the 1660s, more than 3,000 immigrants were sent out, including girls of marriageable age. Few followed, but the population began to expand rapidly as a result of natural growth.
Samuel de Champlain was an explorer, navigator, and soldier who became known as the Father of New France.
New France is a fascinating blend of cultures and people from all over the world. Although ancient people preferred to live in rural locations, there has recently been a significant trend towards cities as a result of trade and business. The French culture is a mix of French and American influences. Religion plays a vital role in people's daily lives here, and churches can be found almost anywhere. The many classes in New France's social order are listed below:
Seigneurs: The Seigneurs, who were French Lords and received land concessions from the king in Canada, formed the upper layer of the social order. These land grants were known as Seigneuries, and they were broken up by the Seigneurs to be distributed to the locals who farmed these areas. The land was frequently divided into narrow strips near a water body in this feudal arrangement so that each land and farmer would have irrigation and conveyance facilities. The Seigneur had to meet several pre-requisites in order to get the land grant, including the construction of a stately house, a fort, a mill, and a church.
Habitants: In terms of social class, the Habitants follow behind the Seigneurs, and these were the farmers who ran the Seigneurs' domains. The inhabitants had a work duty to pay back the debt on the land rented from the Seigneur, which required them to pay a share of his yield as well as work on the Seigneur's land for three days each year. The habitant had to pay two sorts of taxes: an inheritance tax, known as 'lods et ventes,' which required paying a proportion of the land to the landlord when selling the property, and a 'cens,' used to fund the upkeep of public community organizations. Although the inhabitants had a difficult life, they had the option of becoming Seigneurs themselves or leaving farming for trading because of the class mobility of Nouvelle France.
Couriers de Bois: The Couriers de Bois, or traders, followed the settlers, and these fur traders were able to build alliances with Indian tribes to facilitate commerce. In exchange for furs from Indians, these traders frequently delivered foreign goods. They also went on a hunt for animal fur. Another form of the dealer was the voyager, who was licensed to practice fur trafficking, whereas the Couriers de Bois (trader of French Canada) traded fur without a license.
Women: Women were treated on an equal footing with their male colleagues, working in the fields and trading alongside them. Typically, women took up the tasks of homemaker, wife, and mother at home. Because most of its men were either fur traders or in the military and often died before their spouses, who inherited their property and titles, women in New France were allowed to become Seigneurs as well. Because of the male-to-female ratio in this country, the government decided to deport its women to Canada to marry traders or residents there.
Q. How old is New France?
A. New France is two and a half centuries old (1534-1763). Saint Pierre and Miquelon is the last remaining piece of the erstwhile New France.
Q. How was New France governed?
A. The monarch, not the people, wielded sovereign power in New France from the administrative district of French Louisiana. The monarchs of France and their entourage merely delegated administration to trade corporations at first and were taken over by the French crown in the last bit of the 17th century, resulting in tighter control and stability. More new governments were finally formed with the formation of Louisiana territory and Ile Royale. After the British Conquest, New France in 1763 finally ceded to Great Britain, thereby becoming a British colony and bringing British settlers to form British-American colonies across the North American mainland.
Q. What was the most profitable business in New France?
A. The fur trade was the most profitable business in New France.
Q. Why did the French want to colonize America?
A. The French colonized North America to create trading posts for the fur trade. A few French missionaries gradually made their way to North America on a quest to convert Native Americans and bring them into Catholicism and thereby expand the French colony.
Q. What was the most important economic activity of the French people in New France?
A. Fur trading was a crucial activity for the merchants of New France.
Q. How did the French contribute to the development of Canada?
A. New France's main business was not the fur trade. By 1645, the French settlement in Canada and Acadia were supplying provisions for the yearly ships and fur traders. The seigneurial system, a distinctive manner of landholding, began to emerge. The state distributed land pieces to seigneurs, who were in charge of securing settlers (habitants) and supplying them with basic utilities like a mill or a road to the nearest town. The French merchants were given vast plots averaging around 100 ac (40.5 ha) and were required to pay dues to the Seigneur, including several days of service per year.
Q. Who discovered New France?
A. Jacques Cartier discovered New France.
Q. What were the gender roles in New France?
A. The majority of women in New France could not read or write. Their job was to stay home, cook, and look after their spouse and children. The males were archetypal in their belief that women were expected to stay at home and manage their families. Unlike men, who had more opportunities for knowledge and education, most women were disregarded. The majority of men in New France worked as farmers and had to hunt and cultivate to procure food for their families.
Q. Why did French settlers come to New France?
A. The French were keen on exploiting New France through the fur trade and, later, the lumber trade. Despite having tools and rifles, the French immigrants in this portion of North America were reliant on indigenous people to survive in the harsh climate. Many settlers didn't know to survive in the New World during the winter, indigenous people taught them how to do so. They taught the settlers how to hunt for food and how to make garments out of furs to keep them warm throughout the winter. French voyageurs, trappers, and hunters frequently married or formed relationships with indigenous women when the fur trade became the dominating industry in the New World. This permitted the French to build relationships with the indigenous people of their wives, who in turn gave protection and access to their hunting and trapping fields, thereby expanding French territories.
Q. How did the French learn to survive in New France?
A. They adopted indigenous customs and aided Native Indian allies in the fight against their foes. The French population followed in the footsteps of the English, who had founded colonies in the New World far earlier. This, in turn, attracted New Spanish colonists with prior experience in such affairs.
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