Theme 4 the french in north american

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  • 1. Gregory Mann History 140 / Spring 2011 Theme 4 The French in North America
  • 2. The French along with the English, Basque and Portuguese wanted to establish a permanent colony in North America. They needed to be far away from Spanish power to be safe. In 1541, the French attempted to colonize along the St. Lawrence river. The Spanish emperor declined to block this attempt stating that the area was “of no value”. His prediction came true as the settlement led by Jacques Cartier, was “defeated by the bitter cold, the ravages of scurvy, and the hostility of Indians provoked by French thefts and threats.” However, they were successful in establishing a semi-permanent presence at the mouth of the river at the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Fishing and fur trade became profitable. The fur trade made peace with locals a necessity. The Natives thought of the French not as conquering invaders, but as another tribe looking for their place in the local economy. The French eventually made their way to the Great Lakes where they came into contact with the Huron. The Huron, a highly populated and prosperous people of Iroquoian culture, broke from their former alliance with fellow Iroquoians known as the Five Nations, and allied themselves with the French and Northern Algonquians. The Five Nations Iroquoian were dangerous enemies due to their trade with the Dutch who had provided them with metal weapons. They violently disrupted the northern trade alliance and the small French colony on the St. Lawrence was imperiled. American Colonies – Chapter 5 Canada and Iroquoia 1500-1660 A map of the country of the Five Nations or Iroquois, now belonging to the province of New York, as well as part of Canada and Lakes Huron, Michigan, Superior, Erie and Ontario, circa 1650. The Five Nations was a league of Native Americans founded in the 16th century (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
  • 3.
    • The fur trade became a very profitable trade for the French colonists. Since furs offered a high value per volume, the traders would let the Indians do the hard work of hunting the animals and then treating the furs then turn a profit by shipping them back to Europe where fur had become scarce from overhunting. The natives eventually developed negotiating skills that dismayed the Europeans who thought of them as weaker. Metal European tools and weapons soon became a necessity to the natives. By the mid-seventeenth century the old stone tools of the natives were permanently out of use and all natives were using the metal European tools. As the animal populations started to dwindle, the Indians were forced to venture deeper into neighboring territories. When this happened, the Natives that had the better European weapons quickly crushed their less fortunate neighbors. Violence soon became a way of life for the Indians and as different tribes became more desperate for trade relations with the Europeans.
    • The Great League of Peace and Power was formed during the early sixteenth century when a prophet named Deganawida and Hiawatha preached a new message of unity and peace. They wanted to stop the violent feuding between the Iroquoian nations. The Great League was not a European type nation state. It had no central political authority to institute collective policies or demand obedience from its people. It was primarily a ceremonial and religious forum for promoting peace in a world where war and its consequences had prevailed. Functioning basically as a pact of nonaggression, the Great League did, in fact, have political, diplomatic and military consequences.
    American Colonies – Chapter 5 Canada and Iroquoia 1500-1660
  • 4. The Dutch started there own explorations into the Great North country in search of trade routes. They employed an English Mariner named Henry Hudson who first went up river to initiate fur trade with the Mohawks. They soon had Fort Orange along the Hudson river. Even though much shorter, the Hudson was easier to navigate due to less ice and was open year round. The Dutch were soon trading with the Southern Iroquoians and battle lines were soon made between the French allies and the Dutch allies. The Iroquois eventually became so violent they took out their enemies in almost genocidal proportions. The Iroquoians suffered many losses due to diseases and were constantly taking captives to replace warriors. This caused the Iroquoian to become a new and different nation. The adopted captives were changing the way of life of the older Iroquoians. Colonization by European nations had changed the landscape of the North American Indians in just 200 years. American Colonies – Chapter 5 Canada and Iroquoia 1500-1660 Henry Hudson Iroquoia Indian
  • 5. * The Jesuits were a religious order that took special vows of obedience and poverty set them apart from regular priests. They wanted to retain a perfect Christian life. Part of the Jesuits program was to convert the heathens and heretics at home and abroad. Jesuits were known for infiltrating other societies and religion in a respectful manner. They took the time to learn the language and the customs. The Jesuits were critical of colonialist exploitation, but appreciative of the way violence made proud Indians be more exceptive of new ideas like Christianity. * When the Jesuits arrived in New France in 1625, the country was controlled by the natives. Even though the Jesuits had dealings with almost every tribal nation, they concentrated their efforts on four distinct nations. The Montagnais, Algonquians, Huron and Iroquois. The Mohawks were a tribe of the Five Nation Iroquoians that the French did not have trade ties with, but a huge percentage of Mohawks converted to Christianity. * Quebec became the headquarters of the Jesuits. Missionaries followed the trading routes to gain access to tribes in the exterior of the colonies. The Jesuits had failed twice in its attempts at settling in New France. The were in Acadia and Quebec where they were wrecked by English raiders. Most of the Jesuit priests were from a minority group that thought it was there calling from God to save the North American savages. The Jesuits in Canada had a much more difficult time with the native population than in other Jesuit missions. This was because the native population kept their independence and were much harder to convert. Due to the Iroquoian wars, it was very difficult for the Jesuits to convert the masses. Finally with peace they were able to spend the time needed with the natives to start the converting to Christianity. American Colonies – Chapter 5 Canada and Iroquoia 1500-1660 Jesuits
  • 6. American Colonies - Chapter 16 French America 1650-1750
    • France was Britain's principal rival during the Colonization of North America. New France initially belonged to a fur trading co. and was initially colonized by employees, soldiers and clerks. Though it went to the English for a short time, a peace treaty returned it to the French. Even though the French had a smaller population, they had a larger land holding than the British between their Canadian and Louisiana territories. Initially the French did not need great numbers of colonists to emigrate to their American colonies because the Indians did all of the laborious work. The fur trading companies did not want a great wave of fur traders that would flood the market of furs. They soon realized that they needed the men to keep their land holdings safe from the English. So in an effort to colonize and deter English encroachment the Company and later the Crown stimulated emigration by giving land and free passage. However the French monarchy was running low on funds by around 1673 and emigration floundered. The French poor that did emigrate to Canada greatly improved their standard of living. Although the Canadians lived comfortably, few became wealthy. As a people, the French Canadians were known for being happier and more joyous than there English neighbors.
  • 7. American Colonies - Chapter 16 French America 1650-1750
    • New France consisted of two different areas. The lower and upper countries. Most of the settlers in New France inhabited farms along the St. Lawrence river between Quebec and Montreal. Settlers in the upper country made there homes near inside forts. They relied on trade with the natives to survive since the landscape was to harsh for agriculture. Detroit was the largest town and it had only 600 residents. Quebec was the colonial capital and where French law was enforced, but in the far reaches of the New France territory, the Crown was not represented very well. Local governors had the authority to enforce their own law.
  • 8. American Colonies - Chapter 16 French America 1650-1750
    • In the mid 1600’s the Iroquoian’s conquered and dispersed the French Indian allies. The survivors were placed in refugee camps. These refugees were constantly dying of starvation and disease. Frenchmen started marrying the native women who protected them through local ties and taught them survival skills. By the 1690’s, however, upper-country Indians were armed by and allied with the French and were able to inflict defeats on their former tormentors. In 1701, the weary Iroquoia made a peace treaty that conceded the Upper Country to the French and their allies. Unfortunately for the French, this actually weakened their native alliances. Indian frictions polarized different tribes and the were forced to participate in several wars, supplying arms, ammunition and even some soldiers. They finally realized that they could exercise a limited empire only by finding a middle ground alliance which required constant attention and often meant providing trade, mediation and presents.
    THE MIDDLE GROUND
  • 9. American Colonies - Chapter 16 French America 1650-1750
    • In an effort to keep the English to the east coast and open a better trade route the French began to settle the Louisiana. In 1682, French explorers led their first expedition down the Mississippi river to the gulf of Mexico. Then sailing back to France, they convinced the French King that they needed to settle the area to help combat the English success in the Carolina’s. Though the first expedition that landed on the Texas coast ended in a mutiny, they sent several more ships that found the mouth of the Mississippi and set up the Louisiana colony. Realizing they needed the support of the local Indians, they decided to ally with them instead of trying to conquer and enslave them like the English had done. However, despite strong alliances, when needed, the French massacred and enslaves Natives much like the other European colonists. The early inhabitants dealt with disease, hurricanes and drought. The life expectancy of the Louisiana French was half the life of the people in New France. Louisiana never was able to gain the population and trade superiority of the English Carolina’s. Louisiana government was successful with trade and allies but struggled with a profitable export and corruptness. French America was a disappointment to Paris and the Monarchy. It became a financial burden that the French could barely sustain.
    An Indian inhabiting the country Northwest of Louisiana in 1741 - Sauvage du Nord Ouest de la Louisiane.