The French in America before 1750 Early Exploration - Northwest Passage Giovanni Verrazzano (1524) – explored the Atlantic coast of North America from Carolina to Canada and claimed it for the French Jacques Cartier (1534) – explored the St. Lawrence River and claimed Canada for the French - Religious wars between Catholics and Protestants (Huguenots) delayed French colonization until the early 1600’s
- Quebec - the first permanent French colony in North America
- founded in 1608 on the St. Lawrence River
- by Samuel de Champlain - the “Father of New France”.
focused on fur trading instead of colonial settlements
- allied with the Huron in Canada & learned their culture
- made enemies of the Iroquois, who then cooperated w/the English
French Exploration & the Mississippi - French fur traders expanded into the Great Lakes - Catholic Jesuit missionaries tried to convert American Indians to Catholicism (Catholic Christianity) Marquette & Joliet - Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary and Louis Joliet, a fur trader explored the Great Lakes region together - in 1673 they were guided to the ‘Big River’ and explored the upper part of the Mississippi River, as far south as Arkansas
Robert de LaSalle - In 1682 he explored the lower Mississippi River all the way to the Gulf of Mexico - claimed the entire river basin for France, naming it ‘Louisiana’.