Portal:New France

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Welcome to the New France portal. This Wikipedia portal aims to provide easy access to all Wikipedia articles relating to the history of New France. You will find below both a featured article, a biography, a location and an image related to New France. The topics tab presents a selection of articles, the most exhaustive possible, dealing with the realities of the French colonization of North America and classified by topic.


New France (1534 - 1763)


New France, circa 1750


New France is the name that France gave to its colonies in North America. The history of New France began with the first attempts at French colonization following the first trip of Jacques Cartier in 1534.

From 1604 to 1760, the Kingdom of France gradually expanded its authority over lands inhabited and sometimes settled by Native American populations. Samuel de Champlain founded the town of Quebec on July 3, 1608. It is one of the first permanent European settlements in North American soil and it was the capital of New France for over a century and a half.

This vast territory spanned three distinct regions: Acadia, in what is now Atlantic Canada and part of North Eastern United States, Canada, then comprising only St. Lawrence valley, and Louisiana, which included the Illinois Country, comprising the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys down to the Gulf of Mexico. New France had a low population growth compared to the British American colonies adjacent to its eastern borders. Around 1730, the gap was considerable: the British colonies had about 250,000 people of European origin while there were only 30,000 people in New France.

This, in addition to its geographical position preventing the expansion of the British colonies, triggered confrontations. Those became more frequent until the fall of Quebec on September 13, 1759. A year after its capital was captured, New France fell and was dismantled. Parts were ceded to Great Britain while the rest went to Spain.

New France ceased to exist in 1763 when France ceded Canada and its dependencies to Great Britain by signing the Treaty of Paris. Then in 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte returned the vast Louisiana region to France from Spain under the Treaty of San Ildefonso. However, the treaty was kept secret, and Louisiana remained under Spanish control until a transfer of power to France on November 30, 1803, just three weeks before the cession to the United States under the Louisiana Purchase. Today, all that remains to France of this once vast wilderness empire are the little islands of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, located off Newfoundland, Canada.

" To quickly forget
a blessing is
the vice of the French. "
Le Cardinal de Richelieu Blason ville fr Chambellay (Maine-et-Loire).svg Cardinal Richelieu - Quote from Maximes.


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Fur traders in Canada

The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Before the colonization of the Americas, Russia was a major supplier of fur-pelts to Western Europe and parts of Asia. Fur was a major Russian export as trade developed in the early Middle Ages, first through the Baltic and Black Seas. With the development of railways, Russia traded through the European city of Leipzig (Germany).

The European discovery of North America, with its vast forests and wild-life, particularly the beaver, led to the continent's becoming a major supplier in the 17th century of fur pelts for the fur-felt hat and fur trimming and garment trades of Europe. Fur was a major source of warmth in clothing, critical prior to the organisation of coal distribution.

The North American fur trade was a central part of the early history of contact in the New World (North America) between European-Americans and Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada. In 1578 there were 350 European fishing vessels at Newfoundland. Sailors began to trade metal implements (particularly knives) for the natives' well-worn pelts.

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Port Royal Nova Scotia 4.jpg
Rebuilding of housing in Port-Royal you can see at the National Historic Site of Canada, Port Royal, near Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Canada.
On July 27, 1605: Foundation of Port-Royal in Acadia (now Nova Scotia), the French are the first Europeans to settle in what is now Canada, thus way for the creation of a French colonial empire.

Did you know?

Québec-Drapeau-400e.jpg

  • ...On July 3, 2008, Quebec City celebrated its 400th birthday! It was the first city founded by Europeans in North America, always on the same site. All year 2008 is devoted to festivities.
  • ...The Battle of Quebec occurred on October 16, 1690 between the British and French forces. When the British sent a request for the city to surrender, Frontenac replied "I have no reply to make to your general other than from the mouths of my cannons and muskets.". This legendary response, and a poor assessment of the fortifications by the British, allowed France to keep Quebec for almost another seventy years.
  • ...During the Great Upheaval of the Acadians in 1755, seventy-eight survivor families settled on Belle Île in France while the British took possession of French colonies in America. Since then, their descendents have remained on the island. Today most islanders have Acadian ancestry.

Timelines of New France history

For the detailed chronology of this epic of New France, simply visit this
Nuvola apps kworldclock.png Timeline of New France history.

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Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve

Paul Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve (February 15, 1612 – September 9, 1676) was a French military officer and the founder of Montreal. He was born into the aristocracy in Neuville-sur-Vanne in Champagne, France.

He joined the military at the age of thirteen and had a successful career where he was noted for his ability and his piety. He was hired by Jérome le Royer de la Dauversiere, a Jesuit who was head of the Société de Notre Dame de Montréal. Based on a vision had by Royer de la Dauversiere, the society was attempting to build a mission on the Montreal Island in New France. Maisonneuve was hired to lead the colonists and ensure their security.

On May 1641, there they founded Ville-Marie, building a chapel and a small settlement. A hospital under the command of Jeanne Mance was also established. They maintained peaceful relations with the Algonquins and the first year of the colony's existence was peaceful.

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Quebec City

Québec or Quebec City, also Quebec City or Québec City (French: Québec, or Ville de Québec), is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in the province – after Montreal, about 233 kilometres (145 mi) to the southwest. Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America.

Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain on 3 July 1608 at the site of a long abandoned St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona. It was to this settlement that the name "Canada" refers. Although called the cradle of the Francophone population in North America, the Acadian settlement at Port-Royal antedates it. The place seemed favourable to the establishment of a permanent colony.

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Royal Standard of King Louis XIV.svg The New France circa 1750 Royal Standard of King Louis XIV.svg

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