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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Map of North America during the 18th century

Louisiana (French: La Louisiane) was the name of an administrative district of New France. Under French control from the 17th century to the 18th century, the area was named in honor of Louis XIV of France by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. Originally covering an expansive territory that included most of the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Rocky Mountains, Louisiana was divided into two regions, known as Upper Louisiana (French: Haute-Louisiane), which began north of the Arkansas River, and Lower Louisiana (French: Basse-Louisiane). The present-day U.S. state of Louisiana is named for the historical region, although it occupies only a small portion of the territory claimed by the French.

Explored under the reign of Louis XIV of France and named by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle in his honor in 1682, Louisiana was not greatly developed due to a lack of human and financial resources. The French defeat in the Seven Years' War ended with France being forced to cede the eastern part of territory in 1763 to the victorious British, and the western part to Spain as compensation for that country's loss of Florida. France regained sovereignty of the western territory in the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso of 1800. However, Napoleon Bonaparte decided to sell the territory to the United States in 1803, ending France's presence in Louisiana.

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DSCN4750 sieurdecadillaclanding e.jpg
Statue of Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, French explorer, in Detroit.


On June 24, 1701, Cadillac, with the group he heads, a hundred people, half civilians, half soldiers and two missionaries settled on the site soon began construction of Fort Pontchartrain. This site would become the city of Detroit.

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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Marie-Marguerite d'Youville

Saint Marguerite d'Youville (October 15, 1701 – December 23, 1771) was a Canadian widow who founded the religious order the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal. She was canonized by Pope John-Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church in 1990.

With her two surviving sons already in the priesthood, Marguerite and three other women founded in 1737 a religious association to provide a home for the poor in Montreal. At first the home only housed four or five members, but it grew as the women raised funds.

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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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