First Contact and New France
Getting Started
• Study the drawing of Jacques Cartier claiming the Gaspe
Peninsula for France on the opposite page.
• Understanding the impact of claiming this land for France is
important to understanding the history of Nouvelle-France,
First Peoples, and Canada.
• What issues and consequences do you predict happening
from Cartier planting this cross?
– Did Cartier "discover" this land?
– Did Cartier have the right to claim this land for the King of
– Why might First Peoples have welcomed Europeans?
– What were the long-term consequences of the European
presence for First Peoples?
Why Explore?
• Humans have always sought to explore new
• Whether it is exploring new continents, new
oceans, or the universe around us, the quest
for new land, resources, and power has
propelled humans to go where it is assumed
that no one has gone before.
The Vikings
• In 986 CE, Bjarni Herjolfsson, while sailing to Greenland
from Iceland, was blown off course by a storm and
reported seeing land that was not Greenland.
• While Herjolfsson did not actually stop at this new
land, a few years later, another Viking explorer, Leif
Ericson, followed Herjolfsson's route.
– Noting an abundance of trees as he passed by what is now
Labrador, he named the area Markland (forest land).
– Eventually, he landed on Newfoundland and called the
region Vinland (wine land) after he discovered what he
thought were vines and grapes
The Vikings and Aboriginal Contact
• Although Ericson had hostile confrontations with some First
Nations people in Vinland, he also traded with others.
• With the support of some First Nations communities,
Ericson established what is believed to be the first
European settlement in North America: LAnse aux
• Although Ericson and his men stayed in Vinland for only
three years, stories of this land inspired other European
explorers to take the risk and sail across the ocean to what
would become known to Europeans as the New World.
• By the beginning of the sixteenth century, it became known
by its present name of North, Central, and South America.
• When and how was it discovered?
• What does it mean to be a World Heritage
• Do you think this land should be preserved as
such a site? Why or Why not?
First Contact
• The arrival of Europeans to North America meant not
only new opportunities for First Nations people, but
also new challenges.
• Different communities had their first contact with
Europeans at different times
– the first contact between the Vikings and First Nations in
Vinland around 1000 CE,
– John Cabot and the Beothuk in 1497
– Jacques Cartier and the Mi'kmaq in 1534
– Canadian Arctic Expedition and the Kitlinermiut (Copper
Inuit) and Netsilingmiut (Netsilik Inuit) in 1915.
• Statue of Leif Ericson in Greenland
The Doctrine of Terra Nullius
• When European explorers sailed to North America, they claimed their
"discovery" for their mother country. However, the land was not theirs to
• First Nations peoples had been living there for thousands of years.
• Europeans in the fifteenth century approached the Americas with a
worldview that was confident in the superiority of European cultures.
• They also believed in the doctrine of terra nullius. Terra nullius is a Latin
expression meaning "land belonging to no one" that describes territory
over which no country has claimed authority.
• As explorers travelled throughout the Americas, they claimed the land for
their European countries, believing that no one owned it, even though it
was clear that other people were living on the land.
• The European explorers also believed that because First Nations cultures
were not Christian, the land could not belong to them.
• This European worldview helps explain why Europeans seized the lands
they explored, even though the lands were already used and occupied by
other peoples.
Lets Think
• Explain the doctrine of Terra Nullius in your own
• Were Europeans justified in applying this doctrine
to the “new world” they discovered in North
• What were some of the justifications that
Europeans used to support this world view?
• Put yourself in the position of North America’s
First Peoples. How would you have felt about
these new inhabitants of your traditional lands?
Reasons for Exploration and
• By the fifteenth century, navigational
techniques had improved and new inventions
such as the compass and the astrolabe made
the trip from Europe across the Atlantic Ocean
to North America more secure and faster.
The Northwest Passage
• During this period, all of Europe's trade with Asia went
through the city of Constantinople (known today as
Istanbul, Turkey).
• In 1453, the city fell to Muslims, which cut Europe o ff
from the riches of Asia.
• European countries began to look south around the tip
of Africa, and west across the Atlantic in the hopes of
finding a new route to Asia.
• After becoming aware of North America's existence,
they looked for the Northwest Passage, a route around
North America through the Arctic Ocean
John Cabot and the Northwest Passage
• After hearing about Columbus's voyages, England
commissioned Italian navigator Giovanni Caboto (John
Cabot) to find the Northwest Passage.
• In 1497, Cabot arrived in present-day Newfoundland,
where he raised a cross and England's banner to claim
the land for King Henry VII .
• Cabot's reports of waters full of codfish reached
different parts of Europe, and soon other countries
were sending expeditions to the Grand Banks to drop
their nets and return home after the catch was
Subsequent Explorations
• As a route to Asia was still desired by many
European countries, such as Spain, France,
Portugal, Italy, and England, hundreds of
adventurers tried to make the dangerous journey
across freezing Arctic and Atlantic waters.
• British explorers who looked for the Northwest
Passage included:
– Sir Martin Frobisher (1576, 1577, 1578 expeditions)
– John Davis (1585, 1586, 1587 expeditions)
– Sir John Franklin (1845-1847).
Henry Hudson’s Voyage
• The best-known northern mariner was Henry Hudson.
• In 1610, he ventured into a strait that would one day
be named in his honour and sailed southward into a
wide expanse of water that he supposed to be the
Northwest Passage to Asia.
• When the water proved to be an inland sea (Hudson
Bay), however, his crew mutinied and the captain and
his close associates were set adrift in the ship's small
• Four mutineers survived to tell the story in England,
but Hudson's party was never heard from again.
Abundant Natural Resources
• As the quest for the Northwest Passage continued,
more explorers reached North and South America.
European countries began to realize the riches these
lands possessed.
• When news spread from the Spanish about the
abundance of rich minerals such as gold in what is now
Central and South America, the French and British
increased their efforts to explore and settle in North
America, and to exploit the natural resources that
existed there.
• As competition became more intense, the desire to
secure their investments increased.
• Building permanent settlements was one way to deter
their European competitors.
• A popular economic theory in Europe, especially during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was the theory of
• Mercantilism is the belief that a country could accumulate wealth
by exporting more goods than it imported.
• However, to manufacture these goods, countries needed a steady
supply of raw materials.
• Countries wanted to obtain these raw materials from within their
own empires, and they looked to North America as a source.
• Mercantilism not only spurred further exploration of North
America, but also convinced European countries that they should
establish permanent settlements there.
• They believed that settlements would be an excellent market in
which to sell manufactured goods that were created within the
Competition Between Countries
• Another factor that fuelled the colonization of
the Americas was the intense rivalry for power
among European countries.
• One way of increasing their power was to claim
and occupy new lands.
• Colonialism, the control and exploitation of a
territory through settlement, increased in
intensity during the seventeenth century.
• In North America, Spain, Portugal, Britain, and
France competed to colonize the most territory.
The Religious Impulse to Colonize
• As European explorers brought back stories about
First Peoples, many religious groups believed it
was their duty to spread the Christian faith to
these unknown cultures.
• Without regard for First Peoples' rich and diverse
spiritual traditions, religious groups believed that
Christianity would "help" First Peoples and
benefit their cultures.
• The potential for religious converts prompted
religious leaders to contribute to their
government's exploration funds.
Colonization and the Future
• These three reasons for colonization changed
the history of North America forever
– Mercantilism
– Competition
– The desire to spread Christianity
Early French Colonization and
• While many British explorers searched Arctic waterways to
reach the riches of Asia, the French tried to find an internal
route through the continent. In so doing, they cultivated a
French cultural presence in North America.
• In 1523, the Italian explorer working for the French crown,
Giovanni da Verrazano, set sail for the famed Northwest
Passage, only to find the eastern coastline of the presentday state of South Carolina.
• Undeterred, he headed north, hoping to find another inlet
to take him to Asia.
• On this voyage, he sailed to present-day Newfoundland. He
abandoned his original mission, claiming that there would
never be a way around this huge obstacle we now know as
North America.
Early Explorers and Aboriginal
• The earliest Europeans to reach North America quickly
realized they needed to form relationships with First
Nations peoples.
– First Nations people understood the land
– they knew the geography
– they had developed trade routes and effective methods of
– they could use resources from the environment around
them to create medicine and to feed and clothe
• In order to survive, Europeans needed First Nations help.
• One of the first French explorers to realize this need was
Jacques Cartier.
Cartier’s First Voyage
• In 1534, inspired by Verrazano, Jacques Cartier
convinced the French monarch, Francis I, to
fund another expedition to North America.
• In 1534, Cartier set out from St. Malo, France,
and crossed the Atlantic and entered Canada
through the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
• During his first voyage, Cartier placed a cross
on what is now the Gaspe Peninsula, claiming
the land for the King of France.
Cartier’s First Contact
• During his first exploration, Cartier came into contact with First
Nations people three times.
• When he met the St. Lawrence River Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), he
was introduced to their leader, Donnacona.
• In preparation for future voyages, Cartier persuaded Donnacona to
allow his two sons, Domagaya and Taignoagny, to go back to France
with Cartier.
• There, they were taught French so that they could be effective
translators for his future voyages.
• Cartier gained valuable information about the region's geography
from Chief Donnacona's sons.
• While Cartier had not discovered a route to Asia, he did report on
the abundant resources of fish, furs, timber, and fertile land.
• Eager to take advantage of these invaluable resources, the French
administration funded Cartier's second expedition.
Cartier’s Second Voyage
• Cartier's second voyage in 1535 took him up the St.
Lawrence River.
• He stopped at the First Nations community called
• He continued upstream until he reached the large
Haudenosaunee city of Hochelaga.
• That winter, Cartier returned to Stadacona, but the
winter was harsh and Cartier lost twenty-five of his
men to scurvy.
• The death toll would have been much higher i f
Domagaya had not showed the Europeans how to
prepare a medicinal drink, called annedda, that
combined cedar leaves and bark.
The Effect of First Contact
• The First Nations people at Stadacona began to die from European
diseases such as smallpox.
• First Nations people had no immunity and no cure for these
• Relations between the French and the Stadaconians had become
strained as the death toll among the First Nations people increased,
but Cartier knew he needed their continued help i f he was to
succeed in travelling through this unfamiliar land.
• Before leaving for France, Cartier captured Donnacona, his two
sons, three other leaders, and four children and held them as
captives on the return trip to Europe.
• None of the captives ever saw their homeland again, and all but
one died in France before Cartier's return voyage. Cartier's
treatment of the Stadaconians proved to be disasterous for his next
voyage to North America.
Cartier’s 3rd and Final Voyage
• Stories of riches, such as gold and spices, and the route to Asia in a
land Donnacona had called the Kingdom of Saguenay, prompted the
funding for Cartier's final expedition in 1541.
• This voyage, however, was treacherous for the French.
• Because Cartier had intended to stay in Canada for some time, he
brought cattle and supplies, and he even planted crops upon his
• The third expedition, however, was plagued by scurvy, a formidable
winter and, not surprisingly, an unfriendly reception from the
Haudenosaunee, who mourned the death of their leader,
• The Haudenosaunee began to conduct attacks on the French in
retaliation, and Cartier lost thirty five of his men.
• By the next spring, Cartier was forced to return to France, and all
plans for colonization were abandoned.
• Although he failed to find the Northwest
Passage or establish a colony, Cartier charted
much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and sailed
the St. Lawrence River, which became the
main entry point for future French exploration
and colonization efforts.
• However, after his final return to Europe,
France found itself in a long civil war, and is
expeditions to North America came to a halt
for fifty years
European Explorers Project
• Together with your group (~4 members) you will
prepare a 5-7 minute presentation on one of the
explorers listed below:
Columbus” the good”
Columbus “the bad”
Cartier “the good”
Cartier “the bad”
• Important concepts to review within your
– Who were they, and from where did they sail (mini
– What were they looking for? What did they find?
– Did they have any contact with First Nations people in the
Americas? If so, what did it consist of?
– What is their legacy?
• Additional things to keep in mind (this may help you
get a great mark!)
– Do you research (look at class notes as well as outside
– As much as possible weave the Historical Thinking
Concepts previously discussed through your presentation
Samuel de Champlain
• By the end of the sixteenth century, after decades of
warfare, France needed new sources of wealth to renew its
• King Henri IV believed that wealth could be found in the
natural riches of North America, especially its beaver pelts.
• The king founded a company whose goal was to create a
colony in North America.
– The company was also given a monopoly—the exclusive right to
trade—over the fur trade in an area known as Acadia (presentday Nova Scotia and New Brunswick).
– In 1604, the head of the company, Pierre du Gua de Monts, set
sail from France to Acadia.
– On this journey, de Monts brought with him a geographer and
cartographer named Samuel de Champlain, who later became
known as the "Father of New France."
Quebec City
• Champlain and de Monts established a colony at Ile Ste. Croix in 1604, and
then moved it to Port Royal (in present-day Nova Scotia) in 1605 due to its
more sheltered location.
– At Port Royal, Champlain used the idea of communal living and established the
Order of Good Cheer to encourage settlers to work together to ensure their
– The Order of Good Cheer also organized festivities to help keep an optimistic
mood among the men.
• In 1607, however, Champlain and the French were forced to abandon Port
Royal when de Monts‘ trade monopoly was revoked.
• Determined to establish a lasting colony, Champlain turned his sights to
the location where Stadacona once stood.
– The village was now abandoned.
– Historians believe that changes in the local environment, warfare, or diseases
brought by Cartier may have caused the people to leave their village.
• Champlain chose this site because of its advantageous location for trade,
its fertile ground, and because it could be defended if ever under attack.
– He named his new colony Quebec, which he took from the Algonquian word
Kebec, meaning, "where the river narrows."
• The founding of Quebec in 1608 established a
base for French colonial power in North America
and the beginning of a permanent French
presence and culture in North America.
• In 1642, under the leadership of Paul de
Chomedey de Maisonneuve, about forty colonists
from Quebec helped missionaries form the new
colony of Ville-Marie where the former
Haudenosaunee village, Hochelaga, once stood.
• Ville-Marie later became known as Montreal.
The Political Organization of Nouvelle
• As the first permanent French colony, Quebec
experienced growing pains as it tried to
establish itself in a foreign and often
challenging environment.
• In the 150 years between 1604 and 1759, the
colony underwent dramatic changes.
Royal Government in Nouvelle France
• In order to allow his new colony of Quebec to grow and
prosper, Champlain needed French investors to provide
money to harvest the natural resources in North America
and help develop the settlement.
• In April 1627, Champlain convinced one of the most
powerful people in France, Cardinal Richelieu, to establish a
group of 100 investors.
– This group was called the Company of One Hundred
– Its purpose was to establish a French empire in North
America for the purpose of :
1. Trade
2. Settlement
3. the conversion of First Nations people to Catholicism.
– The Company was given administrative control over the
territory that France claimed.
Early Growth
• During the next thirty-six years, Nouvelle-France grew
slowly, and the colony faced attacks by the
Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy.
– As you will learn later in this chapter, the Haudenosaunee
had formed an alliance with the British and went to the St.
Lawrence area to disrupt trade between the French and
the Wendat (Huron) nations.
• With the French colonists living in fear, trade did not
develop, the land was not cleared or farmed, and there
was little support from France in terms of defence.
– But all this changed when King Louis X IV came to the
throne of France.
– Louis X IV was determined to make Nouvelle-France an
important part of the French Empire.
Nouvelle France Becomes a Colony
• Because the Company of One Hundred Associates
had not fulfilled its contract in terms of achieving
a certain number of settlers and income from
trade and goods, King Louis X IV dismissed the
company and made Nouvelle-France a royal
colony in 1663.
• As a royal colony, Nouvelle-France would be
governed by a system of Royal Government.
Every aspect of life came under the control of the
French monarch and his appointed council.
The Sovereign Council
• Although the French monarchs did not travel to NouvelleFrance, they did receive reports from the key officials who
represented them in an administrative organization known
as the Sovereign Council.
• The council was composed of:
– an intendant, who was responsible for administering the
justice, policies, and finances of the colony
– a governor, who controlled military matters and external
– a bishop
– Five counsillors.
• Initially, all the members of the Sovereign Council came
directly from France, but as time elapsed, some
appointments were given to people who were born in
Growing Independence
• During the early years of royal rule, the French government
showed great interest in Nouvelle-France's affairs.
• As France became involved in other European wars,
however, Nouvelle-France became more independent from
• Another factor that led Nouvelle-France to become more
independent from France was the geographic distance
between the colony and its mother country.
• Requests from Quebec were often sent out in the autumn
before the St. Lawrence froze over, yet any solution or
replies from France did not reach Quebec until the
following spring.
• Nouvelle-France often had no alternative than to begin to
take action on its own.
Militia and Defense of Nouvelle France
• The relationship between the French immigrants and the
Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) became increasingly unfriendly.
• The issue of defence became important, not only to the
immigrants themselves, but also to King Louis XIV, who sent
1100 members of the Carignan-Salieres Regiment to
• The regiment undertook two expeditions against the
Haudenosaunee in 1666.
– The first expedition did not engage in any encounters
– but on the second expedition, the regiment burned villages
around Lake Champlain and destroyed the Haudenosaunee
winter stock of grain.
• This act influenced the Haudenosaunee to sign a peace
treaty with the French colonists.
• Along with the troops sent from France, Quebec had
organized its own militia in an effort to defend the colony
against attack.
– The strength and size of the militia grew, as in 1669 King
Louis XIV ordered that all able bodied males in NouvelleFrance between the ages of sixteen and sixty must belong
to the militia.
– As many men had experience in the North American
environment from the fur trade or from hunting, the
militia became an effective group of fighters.
– By the end of the seventeenth century, each parish along
the St. Lawrence had its own militia.
– Besides defending their parishes and homes, the militia
also helped with the building of roads, bridges, and
The Growth of Nouvelle France
• Within twenty years of being under Royal Government,
French territory had expanded to encompass a large tract
of present-day North America
• Governor Louis Buade, Comte de Frontenac, had great
dreams of a French empire that would control of all of
North America.
• Even as French officials often warned of overextending
their resources, Frontenac encouraged expeditions to allow
France to take control of areas such as the Mississippi
• In the north, French territory stretched from Newfoundland
to the eastern region of what is now Manitoba. By 1682,
Nouvelle-France controlled a large section of the continent.
Social Organization of New France
The Role of the Church
• Just as it did in France, the Roman Catholic Church played
an important role in the colony of Nouvelle-France.
• The role of the Church consisted of two parts.
– The first and foremost role was to provide religious services for
the colony and to try to convert First Nations people.
• From the very beginning, the Catholic Church assumed First
Nations people "needed“ to be converted to Christianity.
– The second role of the Roman Catholic Church in NouvelleFrance was to help with the social needs of the colony, such as
• providing education
• Hospitals
• assistance to the poor
• During the early years of the colony, many
missionary groups came to Nouvelle- France to
help spread the Roman Catholic faith.
• The first missionaries in Nouvelle-France were
the Recollets.
– Arriving in 1615, they made the first attempts to work
with First Nations in the hopes of converting them to
– While they had little success, the Recollets were soon
helped by a larger missionary group—the Jesuits
The Jesuits
• From as early as 1625, the Society of Jesus, whose missionaries were
called the Jesuits, worked in Nouvelle-France with the primary goal of
converting First Nations people to Christianity.
• The Jesuits believed that converting people to their faith was a service to
• To help achieve their goal, the Jesuits decided they could make progress if
they lived among First Nations and learned their languages and cultures.
• The Jesuits established settlements among:
– Wendat (Huron)
– Algonquin
– Innu (Montagnais) nations.
• As time went on, some First Nations people did convert to Catholicism.
• However, the converts often came into conflict with those who followed
the traditional ways of their people.
• In addition, the Catholic converts were given guns by the French; the nonCatholics were not.
What does this tell you about early First Nations Converts?
What Would You Do In Their Shoes?
Other Religious Orders
• While the Jesuits focused on conversion, other
missionaries were instrumental in establishing
hospitals, schools, and orphanages.
– The Ursuline Nuns, who arrived in 1639, managed the first
European schools and hospitals in Nouvelle-France.
– In 1645, Jeanne Mance, a missionary, established HotelDieu (meaning "hostel of God"), the first French hospital in
• Tithes, or taxes, were collected from the colonists by
the Church to help support their many religious and
social ventures.
• With the help of the Church, the colonists were
generally better cared for than the citizens back home
in France.
The Seigneurial System
• Established in Nouvelle-France in 1627 under the direction of
Cardinal Richelieu, the method of land ownership in NouvelleFrance was known as the seigneurial system.
• Technically, all the land was controlled by the king, but he
distributed large grants of land in North America to some soldiers,
merchants, and nobility, as well as to the Church for its mission
• The seigneurial system relied on having one person, a lord or
seigneur, rent out the land to censitaires, or habitants ("habitants"
refers to French immigrants who lived and farmed the seigneur's
• The seigneur was expected to build a manor house, be present on
the land for much of the year, and build a gristmill.
• The habitant was expected to pay tithes (taxes) to support the
Church, as well as annual fees for the land, for having his grain
ground at the seigneur's gristmill, and for fishing and hunting rights.
The Fur Trade
• It has often been said that a rodent, not people, built
• What exactly is meant by that? In short, it was the fur trade
that established the economic viability of Nouvelle-France.
• In Europe, hats made from beaver pelts were in great
• The source of the best beaver skins was the forests of
North America, from the First Nations hunters who trapped
them and the First Nations women who prepared the skins
for market.
• It was Europe's increasing demand for beaver furs that
brought the French not only farther into North America,
but also into trading relationships with more First Nations.
• The demand for fur altered the course of history for
everyone involved.
Let’s Think….
• If there had not been a fashion demand for
beaver pelts in Europe, how do you think this
would have affected colonization efforts in
Les Coureurs de Bois
• In the last half of the seventeenth century, beaver became scarce along
the St. Lawrence lowlands.
• In order to fill the demand for furs, French traders began to travel farther
north in search of new sources of beaver pelts.
• Large numbers of young men left their settlements to go live and trade
with First Nations in northern areas.
• These young, adventurous men became known as coureurs de bois, or
"runners of the woods."
• They spent hunting seasons living among the First Nations and developed
an understanding of and appreciation for First Nations cultures.
• Many came to prefer life among First Nations people to life in the
settlements, where they were under the watchful eyes of French officials
and priests.
• The carefree lifestyle of the coureurs de bois did not put them in good
favour with the missionaries and government officials.
• While the Jesuits were trying to create settlements filled with men who
would behave like European farmers, the coureurs de bois went against
everything they taught.
British-French Hostilities
• While Nouvelle-France struggled to grow into
a sustainable colony, other forces were at
work that directed its future.
• During the eighteenth century, Britain and
France began to intensify their fight for land
and power in North America
The Treaty of Utrecht
• Between 1701 and 1713, Britain and France were
engaged in the War of the Spanish Succession in
Europe, but hostilities between the two empires
erupted in North America as well.
• In 1713, the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht—which
ended both the War of the Spanish Succession in
Europe as well as fighting between the British and
French on the East Coast of North America—drastically
changed the balance of power and size of territory for
• Under the Treaty of Utrecht, France surrendered
possession to almost all of Newfoundland (except
some fishing rights), Hudson Bay, and Acadia to Britain.
The Expulsion of the Acadians
• Acadia was named in 1524 by Giovanni da
• The first successful French settlement in Acadia
was established at Port Royal (present-day
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia) in 1605. The
settlement was largely composed of French
• Although Acadia was part of the French empire, it
was not part of Nouvelle-France.
• These early immigrants became known as
The Effect in Acadia
• By the early eighteenth century, the Acadians were
caught between the French and British Empires.
• After the Treaty of Utrecht, the French community of
Acadia was handed over to the British.
• Overnight, Acadians were asked to switch their
allegiance from the French to the British.
• The Acadians took an oath of allegiance that
recognized the British as the new official rulers of
Acadia, but that guaranteed Acadians would not be
called to service in times of war against France.
• In 1754, Charles Lawrence was named the governor of
Nova Scotia.
• Lawrence did not like the idea of the Acadians being
neutral so demanded the Acadians take another oath
of loyalty, but this time without the condition that
allowed them to refuse to take up arms against the
• When the Acadians refused, he ordered, on reasons of
"military expediency," the mass expulsion of all
Acadians from Nova Scotia in 1755.
• The homes and crops of the Acadians were destroyed,
and the land was later occupied by the British.
The Ethics of Expulsion
1. What questions could you ask to explore the ethical
dimensions of Lawrence's decision to expel the
2. Picture it, Winnipeg, 2025. You are in your late 20s,
you have completed post secondary education, you
are beginning your career, you own a car, and a home;
some of you are even starting a family. There is a
shortage of fresh water in the USA. The USA invades
Manitoba for the purpose of securing our freshwater
resources. You are asked to swear allegiance to the
USA or face expulsion. What do you do???
• Discuss with you table partner and be prepared to
share with the class
From Acadian To Cajun
• Over a period of seven years from 1755 to 1762,
approximately 8000 of the 10 000 Acadians were
dispersed throughout the Thirteen Colonies
(controlled by Britain) to the south.
• Some Acadians managed to escape and found
freedom in other French communities as far away
as Louisiana.
• The Acadians in the south became known as
"Cajuns," and they continue to form a sizable
portion of Louisiana's population.
Final Battles For Control: The Seven
Years War (1756-1763)
By the mid-1750s, Britain and France had once again become engaged in a
fight for supremacy in the Seven Years' War.
Once war was declared, France's attention was focused on winning the war in
Britain, however, began to concentrate on winning the war in North America.
The main area of contention was the region just south of the Great Lakes,
known as the Ohio Valley.
The French believed that this area was part of their domain because French
explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, had mapped the region.
The French had constructed a series ofiorts and placed lead plaques bearing
the French coat-of-arms throughout the region.
The British colonists, however, whose population was expanding in the
Thirteen Colonies, hoped to develop land in the valley.
People such as George Washington, who later became the first president of
the United States of America, had claimed land in this region.
The British began building their own forts in the Ohio Valley.
The British Take the Upper Hand
• When the Seven Years' War in Europe broke out, the
French troops in North America relied heavily on
supplies shipped from France
• The British, on the other hand, could supply their
troops from supplies in North America and used their
naval superiority to block French supply lines.
• By 1758, most of the Ohio Valley was in British hands.
• Later that year, the fortress of Louisbourg (a large
French fortress in present-day Nova Scotia) was taken
over by the British, meaning they could attack the
heart of Nouvelle-France through the St. Lawrence, as
well as from the south.
British Conquest of Quebec
• General James Wolfe sailed from England in 1759 with orders to
conquer all of Nouvelle-France.
• With him he brought almost 180 ships carrying 15 000 soldiers, as
well as surgeons, ministers, wives, and children.
• Wolfe first set his sights on the town of Quebec. British troops
began bombarding the town on July 12, 1759, and continued to
attack for nine weeks.
• British troops and artillery fire destroyed homes, churches, and
• Wolfe also ordered farms and livestock to be destroyed in and
around the town for about 240 km.
• As this constant barrage on Quebec took place, Wolfe planned for
the final attack against French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm,
the Marquis de Montcalm.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham
• The final attack came in the early hours of September 13, 1759.
• Wolfe's men were stationed below the 50m cliffs outside
• In the dark, the British soldiers scaled the cliffs and positioned
themselves in a field known today as the Plains of Abraham.
• General Montcalm had most of the French troops stationed at
Beauport (now a suburb of Quebec City).
• When Montcalm got word that the British were outside
Quebec's walls, he had to march his soldiers back into town.
• They arrived exhausted for their battle with British forces.
• By the next morning, both generals were dead and France had
lost Quebec City.
The Articles of Capitulation
• British troops then battled their way toward
Montreal. Knowing that three contingents of
British forces were converging on the city,
Governor Vaudreuil admitted defeat and, on
September 8, 1760, signed the Articles of
• His signature surrendered Nouvelle- France to
General Jeffrey Amherst and the British.
• France gave its French colony little support during
the British attack.
• Many people of Nouvelle-France felt that France
had abandoned them.
The Treaty of Paris
• In 1763, the Seven Years' War ended with the
signing of the Treaty of Paris.
• Nouvelle-France was now officially in the
hands of the British, except for 2 small islands
off Newfoundland, St. Pierre and Miquelon.
• Spain gained the French colony of Louisiana
and, in exchange, Britain added Florida to its
colonial possessions.
The Impact on First Nations
• For First Nations peoples, the Treaty of Paris resulted in a
major shift in their relationship with the European colonies.
• During the century and a half that the French and the
British had been battling for control of North America, each
First Nation made decisions to form alliances or remain
neutral, depending on what it believed was in its best
• With the British in control, First Nations lost their strategic
bargaining position.
• As well, European newcomers were now encroaching
farther and farther into their lands.
• As European explorers travelled to North America, and as
the British and French fought for supremacy on the
continent, their biggest impact was not on the land, but on
the Indigenous peoples—the First Nations.
The Impact of Contact
• The arrival of Europeans to North America
forever changed the history of First Nations
peoples in Canada.
• While trade at times was beneficial for First
Nations, it also came with the challenging,
long-term effects of disease and dependence.
Cooperation and Conflict
• Early European colonists learned survival skills from First
Nations people and often traded goods and technologies
with them.
• In general, the trade that developed benefited both sides:
– First Nations—made canoes and snowshoes helped the
– European-made muskets, awls, fishhooks, axes, metal hatchets,
and knife blades helped First Nations people.
– Furs and moccasins were just as useful to the Europeans as
cotton clothing, woolen blankets, and cloth of various types and
colors were useful to First Nations people.
– Metal pots and kettles were more convenient cooking utensils
than traditional wooden containers, just as maize, wild rice, and
later pemmican were invaluable food resources for the
It’s Not All Good
• However, the Europeans and First Nations people also
became entangled in one another's conflicts.
• The quest for furs pushed First Nations to infringe on
one another's traditional hunting grounds.
• First Nations and their European allies needed each
other's support during times of war.
With your table partner: Take the historical perspective of
a First Nations community member during the early years
of the fur trade. What benefits would the fur trade bring
to your community? What problems? Be prepared to
report back to the class.
• One of the most devastating aspects of European contact
with First Nations was disease.
• Europeans brought with them various diseases such as
smallpox and influenza, which had been in European
countries for hundreds of years.
• For First Nations people, however, it would be their first
exposure to such diseases, and their bodies had no natural
immunity toward them.
• One of the first epidemics occurred among the Wendat
(Huron) after the arrival of the Jesuits, who unknowingly
spread diseases among the First Nations population.
• The Wendat loss of life was enormous.
– By the end of the 1630s, more than half the Wendat population
had died from disease and from wars with the Haudenosaunee
nations over the fur trade.
The Impact on Culture
• In many First Nations, the sharp decline in
population due to disease and war resulted in
a loss of cultural knowledge.
• Many of the people who died from diseases
were Elders, the Knowledge Keepers of a
• Losing these members sometimes meant a
loss of vital ties to culture and community.
Dependence and Division
• The demands of the fur trade brought about serious
challenges for First Nations.
• Despite the many benefits of the fur trade, many First
Nations people suffered from their involvement.
• For example, along with useful pots and hatchets, the
Europeans also traded alcohol, especially brandy and rum.
– Unaccustomed to the powerful drinks, some communities
experienced social problems related to addiction.
• As such problems grew, some First Nations people wanted
to stay away from the Europeans and the fur trade.
• Others did not want to give up their supply of European
• Some communities experienced internal conflicts that
traditional resolution techniques were not able to resolve.
The Fur Trade
• Although the fur trade was, at first, largely fair and
mutually beneficial for both First Nations people and
European traders, over time, the terms of trade began to
favour the Europeans.
• As the European traders competed with one another, they
began to demand more from their First Nations partners
and gave less in exchange.
• Many First Nations' cultures adapted to the introduction of
European goods, which replaced some items community
members had once made themselves.
• As hunters spent more time trapping and trading furs, they
spent less time doing the traditional tasks needed for their
community's survival.
• Some communities became dependent on the fur trade
posts for supplies, especially during the winter.
Lets Think…
1. Explain how the rivalry between the British
and the French for control of the fur trade
helped cause rivalry between First Nations
2. What mutual benefits for First Nations
people and Europeans were consequences of
the fur trade?