A.P. U.S. History Notes:
Chapter 6: “The Duel for North America”
~ 1608 – 1763 ~
France Finds a Foothold in Canada
Like England and Holland, France was a latecomer in the colony race.
It was convulsed in the 1500s by foreign wars and domestic strife.
In 1598, the Edict of Nantes was issued, allowing limited toleration to the
When King Louis XIV became king, he took an interest in overseas colonies.
In 1608, France established Quebec, overlooking the St. Lawrence River.
Samuel de Champlain, an intrepid soldier and explorer, became known as the
“Father of New France.”
He entered into friendly relations with the neighboring Huron Indians and
helped them defeated the Iroquois.
The Iroquois, however, did hamper French efforts into the Ohio Valley later.
Unlike English colonists, French colonists didn’t immigrate to North America by
a. The peasants were too poor, and the Huguenots weren’t allowed to leave.
New France Fans Out
New France’s (Canada) one valuable resource was the beaver.
Beaver hunters were known as the
coureurs de bois
and littered the land with
place names, including Baton Rouge (red stick), Terre Haute (high land), Des
Moines (some monks) and Grand Teton (big breasts). (by the way, they drank
also recruited Indians to hunt for beaver as well, but
Indians were decimated by White Man’s diseases, and the beaver population
was heavily extinguished.
French Catholic missionaries zealously tried to convert Indians.
To thwart English settlers from pushing into the Ohio Valley, Antoine Cadillac
founded Detroit (“city of straits”) in 1701.
Louisiana was founded, in 1682, by Robert de La Salle, to thwart Spanish
expansion into the area near the Gulf of Mexico.
Three years later, he tried to fulfill his dreams by returning, but instead landed
in Spanish Texas and was murdered by his mutinous men in 1687.
The fertile Illinois country, where the French established forts and trading posts at
Kaskaskia, Cahokia, and Vincennes, became the garden of France’s North
The Clash of Empires
King William’s War and Queen Anne’s War (two different fights)
The English colonists fought the French
coureurs de bois
and their Indian
Neither side considered America important enough to waste real troops on.
The French-inspired Indians ravaged Schenectady, New York, and Deerfield.