New France

New France
French Settlers & First Nations
New France
• New France is the term used to describe the
territory in North America claimed by France
• New France when it was most successful
stretched from the Atlantic Coast to the
foothills of the Rockies, and from Hudson Bay
to the Gulf of Mexico
Think about it
Who is in the picture? What is happening? What message is the
artist giving in this picture?
Why Come to North America?
• France wanted to become an international
• Many European countries were founding
colonies all over the world
• Why do you think that would be?
Voyage 1
• Jacques Cartier arrived in Quebec and put up a
large cross to show that France claimed the land
• The cross had the words “Vive Le Roi de France”
• The local Iroquois chief, Donnacona objected and
Cartier told him not to worry it was only for
• Cartier then left the area and took Donnacona’s
two sons with him back to France against their
• Pointing to the cross, (Donnacona)…pointed to
the land all about as if he wished to say that
all this regions belonged to him, and that we
ought not to have set our cross without his
• ~Jacques Cartier~
Think about it:
Who is in this picture? What is going on? What message is the artist
giving in this picture?
Voyage 2
• Cartier returned to Stadaconda (Quebec City)
• Spring of 1536 Cartier takes 10 villagers,
including Donnacona, and forced them to
return to France with him
• All but one little girl, died soon after arriving in
• Think about it: What would have caused their
Secret of Anneda
• Cartier took Donnacona and the villagers to
France with him against their will even though
Donnacona had saved Cartier’s life
• Cartier and him men were sick with scurvy
• Donnacona shared with Cartier the secret of
white cedar tea (Anneda), a cure for scurvy.
• The French said God had saved them rather
than the assistance of the Iroquois
Voyage 3
• Cartier returned in 1541 and admits that
Donnacona died but said the others decided to
stay in France where they lived as “Great Lords”
• The Iroquois were deeply suspicious of Cartier
and France
• Cartier brought 1500 settlers with him and he set
up a colony near Stadaconda
• The colony was closed down in 1543 when the
few settlers who survived both scurvy and the
winter returned to France
Jacques Cartier History Minute
New France did not have gold but
it did have fur
Beaver fur was very fashionable in
Europe and was used to make felt
The European beaver was almost
French businessmen realized they
could make lots of money with
the North American beaver
From 1581 to 1584 many
businessmen organized trips to
North America to make money
from beaver
Fur Trade
• As more and more traders arrived word
spread amongst the First Nations that they
could trade beaver pelt for many goods such
as axe heads, blankets, fish hooks, pots, fire
arms and ammunition
• At first the trade was based on respect and
cooperation as both sides had lots to gain
Coureurs de Bois
• Young men of New France saw that they could make lots of
money from beaver pelt and they decided to work for
themselves not a company
• They became expert canoeists and were called Coureurs de
• Trading between First Nations was done through family
connections and many stayed to live with a First Nations
band through the winter
• Some adapted to the First Nations way of life and married
• Their children were known as Metis
• This created ties between the French traders and First
Trade Trap
First Nations
• First Nations were exposed
to alcohol through trade
• New French settlements
meant they were pushed
out from the best hunting
• To get the European goods
they now wanted so badly
they ended up selling land
and moved away from their
traditional life
• Able to get fur relatively
cheaply which in turn meant
profit for European businesses
• As the First Nations got more
dependent on them they also
managed to get land and
• As beaver pelts became more
popular the North American
beaver was facing extinction
Birth of New France
Settlement 1
• By 1598 France decided they wanted to make
New France a permanent settlement and sent
Marquis de la Roche to Canada
• De la Roche was given a MONOPOLY on the
fur trade
• To get this monopoly he had to guarantee a
certain number of settlers to the colony
• He was unsuccessful
Settlement 2
• Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts was given the
monopoly and settled in what is now Nova
• It was so cold that few settlers survived the
• In spring he moved to the mainland and
created Port Royal in an area still known as
Samuel de Champlain
• Champlain worked for Sieur de Monts
• He convinced his leader to take colonists to
settle along the St. Lawrence River
• They created the fort in what is now known as
Quebec City
• This was first permanent settlement in New
Samuel de Champlain
•The early years were hard
but the population of
Quebec City grew slowly
•In 1633 Champlain was
made governor of New
•To protect his settlement
he worked with local First
Nations people
•He supported the Huron
against the Iroquois
•The Iroquois ended up
being enemies of France in
a war that lasted over 90
English Enter
• In 1661 two traders tried to get a license for a
monopoly from France so they could trade in
fur in a new area for fur trade
• France said “No” so they went to the British
who said, “Yes”
• The British wanted to make money off of the
trade as well and saw this as their chance
Hudson Bay Company
• In 1670 the HBC was created and they had all the
fur in Rupert’s Land
• This gave them a monopoly on all fur around the
Hudson’s Bay
• Forts were erected and the British waited eagerly
for the fur to arrive
• It did of course and the British had a network of
• Britain and France were now competing to make
the most money and control the most forts and
land in Canada
• Scottish and French fur traders joined
together to form the North West Company
• The NWC competed with HBC (Hudson’s Bay
• These traders competed fiercely and
sometimes violently
Let’s Talk About it:
• The history of New France is usually told from
the point of view of the French settlers and fur
traders. The truth is that there were more
First Nations people than French and they
actually controlled the fur trade at the
beginning. Why is the perspective of the
French settlers told more often than the First
Nations. Explain.

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