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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An early 20th-century illustration from a Quebec school text depicting Montcalm inspiring the defenders of Fort Carillon.

The Battle of Carillon, also known as the 1758 Battle of Ticonderoga, was fought on July 8, 1758, during the French and Indian War (which was part of the larger Seven Years War and is also known in modern Canada as the War of Conquest). It was fought near Fort Carillon (known to the attacking British as Fort Ticonderoga), on the shore of Lake Champlain in the frontier area between the British colony of New York and the French colony of Canada (roughly present-day Quebec).

In the battle, which took place primarily on a rise about three-quarters of a mile (one km) from the fort itself, a French army of about 4,000 men under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and the Chevalier de Levis decisively defeated an overwhelmingly numerically superior force of British troops under General James Abercrombie, which frontally assaulted an entrenched French position without using field artillery. The battle was the bloodiest of the war, with over 3,000 casualties suffered, of which over 2,000 were British.

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Battle of Sainte-Foy.jpg
Watercoloring credit: George B. Campion (1796 - 1870)
The Battle of Sainte-Foy. On April 28, 1760, just few months after the defeat of France on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, the governor of New France, Vaudreuil and the Chevalier de Lévis, defeated a British Army commanded by General James Murray at the Battle of Sainte-Foy leading to a reverse siege of Quebec City.

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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Bust of Pierre Dugua de Monts in Quebec City.

Pierre Dugua de Monts, (c. 1558 – 1628) was a French merchant, explorer and colonizer. A Protestant, he was born in Royan, France and had a great influence over the first two decades of the 17th century. He travelled to northeastern North America for the first time in 1599 with Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit.

In 1603, Henry IV, the King of France, granted Dugua exclusive right to colonize lands in North America between 40º – 60º North latitude. The King also gave Dugua a monopoly in the fur trade for these territories and named him Lieutenant General for Acadia and New France. In return, Dugua promised to bring 60 new colonists each year to what would be called l'Acadie.

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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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