New France (French: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris (1763).
At its peak in 1712 (before the Treaty of Utrecht), the territory of New France, also sometimes known as the French North American Empire or Royal New France, consisted of five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, the most developed colony and divided into the districts Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal (before 1717, extending south through the Illinois Country); Hudson's Bay; Acadie, in the northeast; Plaisance, on the island of Newfoundland, and Louisiane. (after 1717, extending north through the Illinois Country); Thus, it extended from Newfoundland to the Canadian prairies and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, including all the Great Lakes of North America.
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Drawing by a soldier of Wolfe's army depicting the easy climbing of Wolfe's soldiers.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the French and Indian War, the North American theatre of the Seven Years' War. The confrontation, which began on 12 September 1759, was fought between the British Army and Navy, and the French Army, on a plateau just outside the walls of Quebec City. The battle involved fewer than 10,000 troops between both sides, but proved to be a deciding moment in the conflict between France and Britain over the fate of New France, influencing the later creation of Canada.
The culmination of a three-month siege by the British, the battle lasted less than an hour. British troops commanded by General James Wolfe successfully resisted the column advance of French troops and New French militia under Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm. Both generals were mortally wounded during the battle; Wolfe died on the field and Montcalm died the next morning. In the wake of the battle, France's remaining military force in Canada and the rest of North America came under increasing pressure from British forces. Within four years, nearly all of France's possessions in eastern North America would be ceded to Great Britain.
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Did you know?
- ...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
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Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys (17 April 1620 – 12 January 1700, feast day: January 12) was born the sixth of twelve children of devout parents. When Marguerite was 19 her mother died and the young lady cared for her brothers and sisters. Her father, a candle maker, died when she was twenty-seven. A few years later, the governor of Montreal, Canada, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve was in France looking for teachers for the New World. He invited Marguerite to come to Montreal to teach school and religion classes. She accepted the offer.
Marguerite gave away her share of her inheritance from her parents to other members of the family and in 1653 she sailed for New France. On arriving, she initiated the construction of a chapel to honor Our Lady of Good Help. She opened her first school in 1658. She returned to France in 1659 to recruit more teachers, and returned with four. In 1670, she went to France again, and brought back six more. These brave women became the first sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.
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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.
The New France circa 1750