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French Colonies of North America

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  • 1. French Colonies of North America Rebecca Wasmund
  • 2. American Colonies 5 - Canada and Iroquoia
    • Spain colonized the southern latitudes of North America, which had a desirable climate for producing lucrative crops.
    • Spanish colonists did not want to allow other countries to colonize these lucrative areas.
    • Spain was powerful, and their head start in colonizing North America gave them an obvious advantage.
    • French explorers wishing to colonize North America were forced to do so in the less-desirable northern latitudes.
    • France wasn’t able to successfully colonize North America until the 17th century.
    • Between 16th and 17th centuries, they established a frequent presence in the northern latitudes, by St. Lawrence Valley.
    • Most lucrative good was furs, which they acquired from the Indians in exchange for metals and alcohol.
    • Brought furs back to France to sell and make a profit.
  • 3. American Colonies 5 - Canada and Iroquoia
    • Trade had many devastating effects on the Indians, but virtually no negative effects for the French (or other Europeans)
    • Indians drank to reproduce “spiritual trances” that they used experience by fasting, and quickly became addicted and violent while drunk.
    • Eventually Indians traded furs for European firearms, and used these against their fellow natives.
  • 4. American Colonies 5 - Canada and Iroquoia
    • The Five Nation Iroquois were devoted to war and well-suited to pursuing it.
    • Would conduct “condolence rituals”, where war captives were given to bereaved as gifts - meant to replace dead.
    • If the individual was a woman or child, they were often adopted and assimilated into the tribe.
    • Otherwise, they were tortured brutally, eventually killed, and their body was cooked into a stew that whole group would eat.
  • 5. American Colonies 5 - Canada and Iroquoia
    • Jesuit priests found most success as missionaries with the Huron people.
    • They built missions, but also learned the native languages and assimilated themselves with the native people in order to further their cause.
    • Hurons grudgingly accepted the Jesuits - some even were baptized - because to turn the away would mean they would have to sacrifice their alliance and trading relationship with the French colonists.
  • 6. America Colonies 16 - French America
    • Spain’s missions in Florida destroyed - French founded new colony named Louisiana.
    • Both Louisiana and New France were very sparsely populated - colonists depended upon Indians.
    • In Europe - pretended to govern Indians, but in reality they had no control over them.
    • French needed the Indians more than the Indians needed the French.
    • Britain colonized North America far more rapidly than France did.
    • France tried hard to recruit more inhabitants, in several ways:
      • Grants of seigneurie for men who would finance colonists
      • Filles du roi - female orphans, France paid for their passage to the colonies and provided a dowry.
    • Even so, many people didn’t remain in New France, and population grew slowly.
  • 7. American Colonies 16 - French America
    • Several reasons why people did not want to stay in, or emigrate to, New France:
      • French peasants actually owned their land (unlike English peasants), and were hesitant to leave it.
      • Many French who wanted to move would move to areas with warmer climates, like Spain or the West Indies - not Canada.
      • France forbade religious dissidents from emigrating.
      • New France had poor reputation: cold, immoral, etc.
  • 8. American Colonies 16 - French America
    • New France governed by 3 officials: military governor-general, intendant, and a bishop.
    • Unlike British colonies, no local governments.
    • France needed Indian alliances, which they kept close by giving frequent gifts as called for by Indian customs.
    • Some French married Indian women, and mixed race intermediaries (“metis”) were born.
    • French and their Indian allies defeated the violent Iroquois - in early 18th century Iroquois and French made peace.
    • Upper North America then belonged to French and Indian allies.
    • French took this for granted and stopped the elaborate ceremonies and present-giving.
    • Without the French constantly trying to settle disputes, violence once again erupted between Indian tribes.
  • 9. American Colonies 16 - French America
    • French colonized Louisiana despite a failed first expedition.
    • Goal was to strategically dominate North America’s interior.
    • Mostly colonized by military and convicted criminals.
    • Conditions were poor, many early colonists died of starvation and new diseases.
    • French government strategically maintained Lousiana colony despite the fact that it cost them money.

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