Tthe rise and fall of the French-American empire

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This is an extract of my article, with small photos. You will find the complete article with full-sized photos in my e-book As American as Apple Pie !

In the travel series View America, this book narrates events and facts that are common to the entire nation.

Man's migration to America, ancient Indian cultures, New France, the French and Indian War, the 13 original Colonies, the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War, American territorial expansion, the American Flag, American holidays, and the lighter side of... old US Laws!

This e-book is illustrated with more than 70 full-sized photos and maps.

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French exploration (1524-1603)

New France or La Nouvelle-France is the name of the territory in North America that was colonized by France between 1524 and 1763. In 1500, Spain had become Europe's richest country, thanks to the great gold discoveries in South America. In its own quest for European supremacy, France was looking into the possibility to match these phenomenal gold discoveries.

In 1524, the French king François I sent Giovanni da Verrazano to explore the American east coast. He was the first to use the (Latin) name Nova Francia or "La Nouvelle France" for the territory.

The Fur trade (1650-1670)

After 1650, the fur trade developed very strongly and more than half of the immigrants remained in the colonies, usually around Quebec, Trois-Rivières, and Montreal. The colonies Quebec and Montreal grew strongly, and by their control of the St. Lawrence River they managed to trade with Indian tribes, that lived deep in the interior.

However, they got involved in many battles with the Iroquois about the control of the lucrative fur trade. The Iroquois almost destroyed all of the French trade with the Huron Indians. Seeing that his revenues were in danger, Louis XIV ended "La Compagnie des 100 Associés" in 1663, and returned La Nouvelle France under the supervision (and into the pockets...) of the French crown. He sent troops to fight the Iroquois, and instituted a form of local government.

French-English rivalry (1670-1713)

Hudson's Bay CompanyIn 1670, England wanted its share of the cake, and Charles II granted the Hudson's Bay Company a trading monopoly for the entire territory around the Hudson Bay, regardless of any claims by other countries. Since the French were by that time solidly entrenched in New France, Charles II began to incite their enemies, the Iroquois, against the French.

To secure its near-monopoly on the fur trade, France began to build a series of forts to the west. During thirty years there was heavy fighting between the French and the Iroquois, but in 1701 finally a peace treaty was signed.

Thereafter began the fighting with Britain for control of Quebec, which was of strategic importance for the fur trade. Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) ended with the Treaty of Utrecht, whereby large areas were ceded to England ; the Hudson's Bay territory, Newfoundland and Acadia (now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and parts of Quebec and New England).

New France in 1712

New France in 1712

At its peak in 1712, New France's territory stretched from Newfoundland to Lake Superior, and from the Hudson's Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

It included five colonies, each with its own government.

Canada : most of the current provinces of Quebec and Ontario

• Acadie : also called la Nouvelle Écosse, with current Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, eastern Quebec, and most of New England

• Terre Neuve : current Newfoundland

• La Baie d'Hudson : the Hudson's Bay

• La Louisiane : the entire basin of the Mississippi

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