Theme 4

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Theme 4

  1. 1. Theme4 French Coloniesof North America Kristi Beria
  2. 2. American Colonies5 Canadaand Iroquoia-Canada The first attempt by the French to colonize the St. Lawrence Valley in Canada ended in failure. Mariners were able to establish a successful and permanent settlement near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. While the St. Lawrence Valley was a poor area for agriculture, it was perfect for securing the fur trade. Samuel de Champlain led a renewed effort to found the colony New France. 1608 saw the building of a fortified trading post. The French formed alliances with the Montagnis, Algonkin, and Huron. This alienated the Five Nation Iroquois. The Montagnis, Algonkin, and Huron expected the French to fight in their battles with the Iroquois. The introduction of firearms allowed victory at several battles. The Iroquois saw the French as their enemy and disrupted the trade between the allies whenever possible.
  3. 3. American Colonies5 Canadaand Iroquoia-TheFur Trade Temporary camps made by mariners along the shores of Newfoundland brought Europeans in contact with Indians wearing furs. By offering European items-such as beads, kettles, and knives-the mariners were able to buy furs from the natives. Europeans realized that they could purchase furs to sell without having to do any of the hard work. The natives believed that manitou-spirit that all things possess-was accessible through these trinkets. The natives also traded for metal arrowheads, axes, knives, hatchets, iron or brass kettles, and metal hoes. Indians started learning the business of driving a hard bargain and to allow several buyers to compete for their furs. Because of the new tools, the old ways of making stone tools began to be forgotten. The demand for furs caused a strain on the environment. As local beaver began to be depleted, Indians had to expand their hunting area into rival territories causing wars. New weapons brought even more violence. What started out as novelties soon became necessities that caused the Indians to turn against each other.
  4. 4. American Colonies 5 Canada and Iroquoia-The Five Nation Iroquois The Five Nation Iroquois consisted of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. They had a mixed economy that included hunting and gathering along with horticulture. They lived in many large permanent villages. The Iroquois were not great hunters and initially didn’t have any interest in trade. They were fearsome warriors who eventually acquired firearms from the Dutch. Unhappy that the French allied with the Algonquin people, they violently disrupted the northern trade alliance. The Iroquois conducted “mourning wars” to appease dead relatives where they captured enemies and either adopted them or tortured them. In the early 16th century the Great League of Peace was formed to stop the bloodshed. The refusal of many Iroquois speaking nations to join the Great League of Peace caused the violence to escalate. The constant wars and epidemics took a heavy toll on the Iroquois Nations. By 1657, adopted captives seemed to be the majority.
  5. 5. American Colonies5 Canadaand Iroquoia-TheJesuits Along with the fur trade, the aim of French Colonists was to convert the Indians to Catholicism. Priests from the Recollect Order arrived in New France in 1615. In ten years, they were only able to baptize about 50 people. In 1625-1626, eight Jesuit priests arrived and decided to target the Huron. Here, they were able to establish a central mission that included a chapel, hospital, forge, mill and stables, along with four satellite missions. The Jesuits learned the native language and went into villages to build churches. Many natives were surprised by their lack of interest in the fur trade. The Jesuits had a hard time convincing the natives in the idea of heaven and hell. Native shaman became the enemy of the priests. The priests brought disease that killed about half of the Huron. When the natives found out that whole lineages of families could be converted, they started to come around and get baptized.
  6. 6. American Colonies 16 French America-Emigrants Until the year 1663, Canada was under control by the Company of New France, a fur trading company, rather than the French Crown. The Company of New France was ordered to bring in more inhabitants. Seigneurs, the title of nobility given to men who recruited people, brought in the colonies first farmers; also called habitants. The St. Lawrence Valley was fertile, but had a short growing season. The population grew slowly, from 700 in 1650 to 3,000 in 1663. The French Crown was worried that they were going to lose the race to colonize with the English, who by 1660 had 58,000 colonists. The Crown took control of the colony in 1663 and paid for the cost of passage. Most emigrants were young single men; only 250 families emigrated during the 17th century. These men were only required to spend three years in service and then were allowed to return to France, which caused the colony to be a transient society. In 1673 the Crown took away the funding and migration came to a stop. The population grew naturally, with an even higher birth rate than France.
  7. 7. American Colonies 16 French America-Opportunity The majority of colonists who stayed in Canada improved their status and were able leave poverty behind. 80% of the colonists lived as habitants and were able to lease approximately 100 acres; much more than they had in France. They were able to hunt and fish which was prohibited in France. Despite harsh winters, they were able to stay warm because of the large supply of firewood. The taxes and tithes paid to the Church were much lower in New France compared to what peasants paid in France. Habitants paid lower rents and less toll at the grain mill. Women in New France had the choice of marriage or joining the convent, unlike the English colonies. There was less of a division of classes in New France as most people were equal in their wealth.
  8. 8. American Colonies 16 French America-Louisiana In 1682 The Sieur de La Salle explored southwestward down the Mississippi Valley into the Gulf of Mexico, naming the area Louisiana after King Louis the XIV. In 1699 Pierre La Moyne d’Iberville founded a small fortified settlement on the Gulf Coast. The French made trade their number one priority as opposed to religious conversion. They hoped to create a trade route that linked Canada and Louisiana. The French rallied the upper-country Indians against the Iroquois and arbitrated peace between feuding tribes. New Orleans was established in 1718 became the largest town, principle seaport, and government headquarters Between 1717 and 1730, 5,400 European colonists and 6,000 African slaves were transported to Louisiana, many of which were convicted criminals. Farming was difficult because of flooding, hurricanes, and drought. Many died due to famine and disease, but by the 1740’s many of the colonists had developed some immunities. Louisiana did not produce a profitable export item and was therefore subsidized by the French Crown. The government was corrupt and embezzled crown funds and invested in pirate ships. Louisiana was the least profitable of the French colonies.
  9. 9. American Colonies 16 French America-Rebels and Allies Louisiana was divided into two different areas: a plantation core made by settlers and a large backcountry filled with Indians. The French had to deal with the natives differently in each area. In the backcountry, with few colonies, the French played on their weakness and made important allies. In the more populated inland area, the French treated the Indians indifferently. The colonists were masters at setting surrounding tribes against each other in order to make things more profitable for them. A rebellion in Natchez in 1729 pitted Indians and slaves against the French soldiers and colonists, resulting in a devastating loss to the colony. This scared the French and they rallied the Choctaw to attack the Natchez rebels in order to protect Louisiana. In the backcountry, the French and English competed for influence over the vast number of Indians. The English had better and more affordable items for trade than the French, but they also treated the natives with contempt. It was expensive to keep the Indian allies, so the French had to pick and choose who to ally with. They picked the Choctaw over the Chickasaw because of proximity and numbers. Several times the Chickasaw defeated armies of French soldiers, warriors, and armed slaves. After several lengthy battles the balance of French-Choctaw power was restored in 1750.
  10. 10. American Colonies 16 French America-Rebels and Allies Louisiana was divided into two different areas: a plantation core made by settlers and a large backcountry filled with Indians. The French had to deal with the natives differently in each area. In the backcountry, with few colonies, the French played on their weakness and made important allies. In the more populated inland area, the French treated the Indians indifferently. The colonists were masters at setting surrounding tribes against each other in order to make things more profitable for them. A rebellion in Natchez in 1729 pitted Indians and slaves against the French soldiers and colonists, resulting in a devastating loss to the colony. This scared the French and they rallied the Choctaw to attack the Natchez rebels in order to protect Louisiana. In the backcountry, the French and English competed for influence over the vast number of Indians. The English had better and more affordable items for trade than the French, but they also treated the natives with contempt. It was expensive to keep the Indian allies, so the French had to pick and choose who to ally with. They picked the Choctaw over the Chickasaw because of proximity and numbers. Several times the Chickasaw defeated armies of French soldiers, warriors, and armed slaves. After several lengthy battles the balance of French-Choctaw power was restored in 1750.

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