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The First of the French and Indian Wars

The First of the French and Indian Wars

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King William’s War was the first in a series of colonial conflicts between France and England for supremacy in North America. All of these struggles had European counterparts that were often of greater significance than the American events.“King William” refers to William III of England, the new monarch imported from the Netherlands at the time of the Glorious Revolution in 1688-89. The Austrians and the Dutch also joined the fray against Louis XIV in the European phase of the conflict.Conflict was already smouldering on the New England frontier at the time of the English declaration of war against France in May of 1689. Castine's Trading House, the French had incited the Abernaki Indians of Maine to destroy the rival English post of Pemaquid, and also to attack frontier settlements.When Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, arrived in 1689 for his second term as governor, he found the colony terrified from Iroquois raids. The first destroyed Schenectady, the second burned down the small settlement of Salmon Falls on the New Hampshire border, while the third forced the surrender of Fort Loyal, now the site of Portland.In response, Massachusetts raised a fleet of seven ships, which captured and plunder Port Royal. In May 1690, representatives of New York, Massachusetts, Plymouth and Connecticut met in New York City and planned an attack on Montreal. Attacks were planned by land and sea, both of which were failures.Later French and Indian raids were made against Falmouth (later Portland, Maine) in July 1690; Durham, New Hampshire in June 1694; and Haverhill, Massachusetts in March 1697.Peace was temporarily established in the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697, ending King William's War. North American territorial gains were returned to the original holders, establishing a status quo ante bellum.Fighting was renewed in the New World in Queen Anne's War in 1702.

The First of the French and Indian Wars - History

Please note: The audio information from the video is included in the text below.

The French and Indian War was a major war fought in the American Colonies between 1754 and 1763. The British gained significant territory in North America as a result of the war.

The French meet with Indian leaders
by Emile Louis Vernier

Who fought in the French and Indian War?

From the name of the war, you would probably guess that the French fought the Indians during the French and Indian War. Actually, the main enemies in the war were the French and the British. Both sides had American Indian allies. The French allied with several tribes including the Shawnee, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, and the Algonquin peoples. The British allied with the Iroquois, Catawba, and the Cherokee (for a time).

How is it different from the Seven Years War?

The French and Indian war is considered part of the Seven Years War. The Seven Years War was fought throughout much of the world. The portion of the Seven Years War that was fought in North America is called the French and Indian War.

The war was fought mostly in the northeast along the border between the British colonies and the French Colonies of New France.

Leading up to the War

As the American colonies began to expand to the west, they came into conflict with the French. The first real conflict began when the French moved into the Ohio country and built Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River (where the city of Pittsburgh is today). It was over the construction of this fort that the first battle of the war, the Battle of Jumonville Glen, took place on May 28, 1754.

  • General Braddock at Fort Duquesne (1755) - British General Braddock led 1500 men to take Fort Duquesne. They were ambushed and soundly defeated by French and Indian soldiers.
  • Battle of Fort Oswego (1756) - The French captured the British Fort Oswego and took 1,700 prisoners captive.
  • Massacre at Fort William Henry (1757) - The French took Fort William Henry. Many British soldiers were massacred as France's Indian allies violated the terms of the British surrender and killed around 150 British soldiers.
  • Battle of Quebec (1759) - The British claimed a decisive victory over the French and occupied Quebec City.

The French and Indian War ended on February 10, 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. France was forced to give up all of its North American territory. Britain gained all of the land east of the Mississippi River and Spain gained the land west of the Mississippi.

The French and Indian War had some major consequences on the future of the British colonies in America.

The war was expensive for the British government to fight. In order to pay for it, they issued taxes on the colonies. The British government considered this fair as they were protecting the interests of the colonies. The colonies, however, felt that they should not be taxed unless they had representation in the British government.

Also, this war was the first time that the colonies united together to fight a common enemy. They built up colonial militias and gained confidence in their fighting abilities. In the end, the events of the French and Indian War played a major role leading up to the American Revolution.

The Declaration of Independence

The final Colonial War (1689-1763) was the French and Indian War, which is the name given to the American theater of a massive conflict involving Austria, England, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Sweden called the Seven Years War. The conflict was played out in Europe, India, and North America. In Europe, Sweden , Austria, and France were allied to crush the rising power of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The English and the French battled for colonial domination in North America, the Caribbean, and in India. The English did ultimately come to dominate the colonial outposts, but at a cost so staggering that the resulting debt nearly destroyed the English government. It was that debt that caused the escalation of tensions leading to the Revolutionary War. Parliament was desperate to obtain two objectives first, to tax the colonies to recover monies expended on the battle over North America, and second to restore the profitability of the East India Company in an effort to recover monies spent on the battle over India.

The French and Indian War, as it was referred to in the colonies, was the beginning of open hostilities between the colonies and Gr. Britain. England and France had been building toward a conflict in America since 1689. These efforts resulted in the remarkable growth of the colonies from a population of 250,000 in 1700, to 1.25 million in 1750. Britain required raw materials including copper, hemp, tar, and turpentine. They also required a great deal of money, and so they provided that all of these American products be shipped exclusively to England (the Navigation Acts). In an effort to raise revenue and simultaneously interfere with the French in the Caribbean, a 6 pence tax on each gallon of molasses was imposed in 1733 (the Molasses Act, see note: The Sugar Act). Enforcement of these regulations became difficult, so the English government established extensive customs services, and vice-admiralty courts empowered to identify, try, and convict suspected smugglers. These devices were exclusive of, and superior to, the colonial mechanisms of justice.

The colonies were wholly interested in overcoming the French in North America and appealed to the King for permission to raise armies and monies to defend themselves.* Despite sincere petitions from the royal governors, George II was suspicious of the intentions of the colonial governments and declined their offer. English officers in America were also widely contemptuous of colonials who volunteered for service. A few of the men who signed the Declaration had been members of volunteer militia who, as young men, had been dressed down and sent home when they applied for duty. Such an experience was not uncommon. It led communities throughout the colonies to question British authorities who would demand horses, feed, wagons, and quarters &mdash but deny colonials the right to fight in defense of the Empire, a right which they considered central to their self-image as Englishmen.


Around 1523, the Florentine navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano convinced King Francis I to commission an expedition to find a western route to Cathay (China). [11] Late that year, Verrazzano set sail in Dieppe, crossing the Atlantic on a small caravel with 50 men. [12] After exploring the coast of the present-day Carolinas early the following year, he headed north along the coast, eventually anchoring in the Narrows of New York Bay. [12]

The first European to visit the site of present-day New York, Verrazzano named it Nouvelle-Angoulême in honour of the king, the former count of Angoulême. [13] Verrazzano's voyage convinced the king to seek to establish a colony in the newly discovered land. Verrazzano gave the names Francesca and Nova Gallia to that land between New Spain (Mexico) and English Newfoundland. [14]

In 1534, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula and claimed the land in the name of King Francis I. [15] It was the first province of New France. The first settlement of 400 people, Fort Charlesbourg-Royal (present-day Quebec City), was attempted in 1541 but lasted only two years. [16]

French fishing fleets continued to sail to the Atlantic coast and into the St. Lawrence River, making alliances with Canadian First Nations that became important once France began to occupy the land. French merchants soon realized the St. Lawrence region was full of valuable fur-bearing animals, especially the beaver, which were becoming rare in Europe. Eventually, the French crown decided to colonize the territory to secure and expand its influence in America.

Another early French attempt at settlement in North America took place in 1564 at Fort Caroline, now Jacksonville, Florida. Intended as a haven for Huguenots, Caroline was founded under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière and Jean Ribault. It was sacked by the Spanish led by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés who then established the settlement of St. Augustine on 20 September 1565.

Acadia and Canada (New France) were inhabited by indigenous nomadic Algonquian peoples and sedentary Iroquoian peoples. These lands were full of unexploited and valuable natural resources, which attracted all of Europe. By the 1580s, French trading companies had been set up, and ships were contracted to bring back furs. Much of what transpired between the indigenous population and their European visitors around that time is not known, for lack of historical records. [15]

Other attempts at establishing permanent settlements were also failures. In 1598, a French trading post was established on Sable Island, off the coast of Acadia, but was unsuccessful. In 1600, a trading post was established at Tadoussac, but only five settlers survived the winter. [15] In 1604, a settlement was founded at Île-Saint-Croix on Baie François (Bay of Fundy), which was moved to Port-Royal in 1605. [15] It was abandoned in 1607, re-established in 1610, and destroyed in 1613, after which settlers moved to other nearby locations, creating settlements that were collectively known as Acadia, and the settlers as Acadians. [15]

Foundation of Quebec City (1608) Edit

In 1608, King Henry IV sponsored Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons and Samuel de Champlain as founders of the city of Quebec with 28 men. This was the second permanent French settlement in the colony of Canada. [17] [18] [19] Colonization was slow and difficult. Many settlers died early because of harsh weather and diseases. In 1630, there were only 103 colonists living in the settlement, but by 1640, the population had reached 355. [20]

Champlain allied himself as soon as possible with the Algonquin and Montagnais peoples in the area, who were at war with the Iroquois. In 1609, Champlain, with two French companions, accompanied his Algonquin, Montagnais, and Huron allies south from the St. Lawrence valley to Lake Champlain. There he participated decisively in a battle against the Iroquois, killing two Iroquois chiefs with the first shot of his arquebus. This military engagement against the Iroquois solidified Champlain's status with New France's Huron and Algonquin allies, enabling him to maintain bonds that were essential to New France's interests in the fur trade. [21]

Champlain also arranged to have young French men live with local indigenous people, to learn their language and customs and help the French adapt to life in North America. These coureurs des bois ("runners of the woods"), such as Étienne Brûlé, extended French influence south and west to the Great Lakes and among the Huron tribes who lived there. For the better part of a century the Iroquois and French clashed in a series of attacks and reprisals. [21]

During the first decades of the colony's existence, the French population numbered only a few hundred, while the English colonies to the south were much more populous and wealthy. Cardinal Richelieu, adviser to Louis XIII, wished to make New France as significant as the English colonies. In 1627, Richelieu founded the Company of One Hundred Associates to invest in New France, promising land parcels to hundreds of new settlers and to turn Canada into an important mercantile and farming colony. [22] Champlain was named Governor of New France and Richelieu forbade non-Roman Catholics from living there. Protestants were required to renounce their faith prior to settling in New France many therefore chose instead to move to the English colonies. [22]

The Roman Catholic Church, and missionaries such as the Recollets and the Jesuits, became firmly established in the territory. Richelieu also introduced the seigneurial system, a semi-feudal system of farming that remained a characteristic feature of the St. Lawrence valley until the 19th century. While Richelieu's efforts did little to increase the French presence in New France, they did pave the way for the success of later efforts. [22]

At the same time the English colonies to the south began to raid the St. Lawrence valley and, in 1629, Quebec itself was captured and held by the English until 1632. [23] Champlain returned to Canada that year, and requested that Sieur de Laviolette found another trading post at Trois-Rivières, which he did in 1634. Champlain died in 1635.

On Sept 23, 1646 under the command of Pierre LeGardeur, Le Cardinal arrived to Quebec with Jules (Gilles) Trottier II and his family. Le Cardinal, commissioned by the Communauté des Habitants, had arrived from La Rochelle, France. Communauté des Habitants at the time of Trottier primarily dealt in the fur trade. In La Rochelle on July 4, 1646 Trottier had been granted land to build and develop New France by Pierre Teuleron, sieur de Repentigny, acting under commission of Jacques Le Neuf de la Poterie.

In 1650, New France had seven hundred colonists and Montreal had only a few dozen settlers. Because the First Nations people did most of the work of beaver hunting, the company needed few French employees. But the severely underpopulated New France almost fell completely to hostile Iroquois forces. In 1660, settler Adam Dollard des Ormeaux led a Canadian and Huron militia against a much larger Iroquois force none of the Canadians survived, but they succeeded in turning back the Iroquois invasion. In 1627, Quebec had only eighty-five French colonists and was easily overwhelmed two years later when three English privateers plundered the settlement. In 1663, New France finally became more secure when Louis XIV made it a royal province, taking control away from the Company of One Hundred Associates. In the same year the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal ceded its possessions to the Seminaire de Saint-Sulpice. [24] The crown stimulated emigration to New France by paying for transatlantic passages and offering other incentives to those willing to move, and the population of New France grew to three thousand. [25]

In 1665, Louis XIV sent a French garrison, the Carignan-Salières Regiment, to Quebec. The government of the colony was reformed along the lines of the government of France, with the Governor General and Intendant subordinate to the Minister of the Marine in France. In 1665, Jean Talon was sent by Minister of the Marine Jean-Baptiste Colbert to New France as the first Intendant. These reforms limited the power of the Bishop of Quebec, who had held the greatest amount of power after the death of Champlain.

Talon tried to reform the seigneurial system, forcing the seigneurs to actually reside on their land, and limiting the size of the seigneuries, in an attempt to make more land available to new settlers. These schemes were ultimately unsuccessful. Very few settlers arrived, and the various industries established by Talon did not surpass the importance of the fur trade.

Settlers and their families Edit

The first settler was brought to Quebec by Champlain – the apothecary Louis Hébert and his family, of Paris. They came expressly to settle, stay in one place to make the New France settlement function. Waves of recruits came in response to the requests for men with specific skills, like farming, apothecaries, blacksmiths. As couples married, cash incentives to have large families were put in place, and were effective.

To strengthen the colony and make it the centre of France's colonial empire, Louis XIV decided to send single women, aged between 15 and 30 known as the King's Daughters or in French, les filles du roi, to New France, paying for their passage and granting goods or money as a dowry. Approximately 800 arrived during 1663–1673. The King's Daughters found husbands among the male settlers within a year or two, as well as a new life for themselves. They came on their own choice, many because they could not make a favorable marriage in the social hierarchy in France. They were from commoner families in the Paris area, Normandy and the central-western regions of France. By 1672, the population of New France had risen to 6,700, from 3,200 in 1663. [26]

At the same time, marriages with the indigenous peoples were encouraged, and indentured servants, known as engagés, were also sent to New France. The women played a major role in establishing family life, civil society, and enabling rapid demographic growth. [27] There was a high demand for children, for they contributed to the prosperity of the farm from an early age, and there was plenty of food for them. Women bore about 30% more children than comparable women who remained in France. Landry says, "Canadians had an exceptional diet for their time. This was due to the natural abundance of meat, fish, and pure water the good food conservation conditions during the winter and an adequate wheat supply in most years." [27]

Besides household duties, some women participated in the fur trade, the major source of cash in New France. They worked at home alongside their husbands or fathers as merchants, clerks and provisioners. Some were widows who took over their husband's roles. A handful were active entrepreneurs in their own right. [28]

Settlements in Louisiana Edit

The French extended their territorial claim to the south and to the west of the American colonies late in the 17th century, naming it for King Louis XIV, as La Louisiane. In 1682, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle explored the Ohio River Valley and the Mississippi River Valley, and he claimed the entire territory for France as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. [29] La Salle attempted to establish the first southern colony in the new territory in 1685, but inaccurate maps and navigational issues led him to instead establish his Fort Saint Louis in what is now Texas. The colony was devastated by disease, and the surviving settlers were killed in 1688, in an attack by the area's indigenous population. [30] Other parts of Louisiana were settled and developed with success, such as New Orleans and southern Illinois, leaving a strong French influence in these areas long after the Louisiana Purchase.

Many strategic forts were built there, under the orders of Governor Louis de Buade de Frontenac. Forts were also built in the older portions of New France that had not yet been settled. [31] Many of these forts were garrisoned by the Troupes de la Marine, the only regular soldiers in New France between 1683 and 1755. [32]

The European population grew slowly under French rule, [33] thus remained relatively low as growth was largely achieved through natural births, rather than by immigration. [34] Most of the French were farmers, and the rate of natural increase among the settlers themselves was very high. [35] The women had about 30 per cent more children than comparable women who remained in France. [27] Yves Landry says, "Canadians had an exceptional diet for their time." [36] The 1666 census of New France was the first census conducted in North America. [37] It was organized by Jean Talon, the first Intendant of New France, between 1665 and 1666. [37] According to Talon's census there were 3,215 people in New France, comprising 538 separate families. [38] The census showed a great difference in the number of men at 2,034 versus 1,181 women. [38]

By the early 1700s the New France settlers were well established along the Saint Lawrence River and Acadian Peninsula with a population around 15,000 to 16,000. [39] The first population figures for Acadia are from 1671, which enumerated only 450 people. [40]

After the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, New France began to prosper. Industries such as fishing and farming, which had failed under Talon, began to flourish. A "King's Highway" (Chemin du Roy) was built between Montreal and Quebec to encourage faster trade. The shipping industry also flourished as new ports were built and old ones were upgraded. The number of colonists greatly increased. By 1720, Canada had become a self-sufficient colony with a population of 24,594. [41] Mainly due to natural increase and modest immigration from Northwest France (Brittany, Normandy, Île-de-France, Poitou-Charentes and Pays de la Loire) the population of Canada increased to 55,000 according to the last French census of 1754. [42] This was an increase from 42,701 in 1730. [43] By 1765, the population approached 70,000. [41]

By 1714, the Acadian population had expanded to over 2,500 and to about 13,000 people by the end of the 1750s. [40] This was mostly from natural increase rather than immigration that affected other French settlements. [40]

European population of Louisiana is estimated at around 5,000 by the 1720s. [44] This would dramatically change in the mid 1730s with the loss of 2,000 French settlers and the introduction of African slaves. [45] Enslaved men, women and children represented approximately 65 percent of the 6,000 non-indigenous population of Louisiana by the end of French rule. [45]

According to the staples thesis, the economic development of New France was marked by the emergence of successive economies based on staple commodities, each of which dictated the political and cultural settings of the time. During the 16th and early 17th centuries New France's economy was heavily centered on its Atlantic fisheries. This would change in the later half of the 17th and 18th centuries as French settlement penetrated further into the continental interior. [46] Here French economic interests would shift and concentrate itself on the development of the North American fur trade. It would soon become the new staple good that would strengthen and drive New France's economy, in particular that of Montreal, for the next century.

The trading post of Ville-Marie, established on the current island of Montreal, quickly became the economic hub for the French fur trade. It achieved this in great part due to its particular location along the St. Lawrence River. From here a new economy emerged, one of size and density that provided increased economic opportunities for the inhabitants of New France. In December 1627 the Company of New France was recognized and given commercial rights to the gathering and export of furs from French territories. [47] By trading with various indigenous populations and securing the main markets its power grew steadily for the next decade. As a result, it was able to set specific price points for furs and other valuable goods, often doing so to protect its economic hegemony over other trading partners and other areas of the economy.

The fur trade itself was based on a commodity of small bulk but yet high value. Because of this it managed to attract increased attention and/or input capital that would otherwise be intended for other areas of the economy. The Montreal area witnessed a stagnant agricultural sector it remained for the most part subsistence orientated with little or no trade purposes outside of the French colony. This was a prime example of the handicapping effect the fur trade had on its neighbouring areas of the economy. [48]

Nonetheless, by the beginning of the 1700s the economic prosperity the fur trade stimulated slowly transformed Montreal. Economically, it was no longer a town of small traders or of fur fairs but rather a city of merchants and of bright lights. The primary sector of the fur trade, the act of acquiring and the selling of the furs, quickly promoted the growth of complementary second and tertiary sectors of the economy. For instance a small number of tanneries was established in Montreal as well as a larger number of inns, taverns and markets that would support the growing number of inhabitants whose livelihood depended on the fur trade. Already by 1683 there were well over 140 families and there may have been as many as 900 people living in Montreal.

The founding of the Compagnie des Indes in 1718, once again highlighted the economic importance of the fur trade. [49] This merchant association, like its predecessor the Compagnie des Cent Associes, regulated the fur trade to the best of its abilities imposing price points, supporting government sale taxes and combating black market practices. However, by the middle half of the 18th century the fur trade was in a slow decline. [50]

The natural abundance of furs had passed and it could no longer meet market demand. This eventually resulted in the repeal of the 25 percent sales tax that had previously aimed at curbing the administrative costs New France had accumulated. In addition, dwindling supply increased black market trading. A greater number of indigenous groups and fur traders began circumventing Montreal and New France altogether many began trading with either British or Dutch merchants to the south. [50]

By the end of French rule in New France in 1763, the fur trade had significantly lost its importance as the key staple good that supported much of New France's economy for more than the last century. Even so, it did serve as the fundamental force behind the establishment and vast growth of Montreal and the French colony.

Coureurs des bois and voyageurs Edit

The coureurs des bois were responsible for starting the flow of trade from Montreal, carrying French goods into upper territories while indigenous people were bringing down their furs. The coureurs traveled with intermediate trading tribes, and found that they were anxious to prevent French access to the more distant fur-hunting tribes. Still, the coureurs kept thrusting outwards using the Ottawa River as their initial step upon the journey and keeping Montreal as their starting point. [51] The Ottawa River was significant because it offered a route that was practical for Europeans, by taking the traders northward out of the territory dominated by the Iroquois. It was for this reason that Montreal and the Ottawa River was a central location of indigenous warfare and rivalry.

Montreal faced difficulties by having too many coureurs out in the woods. The furs coming down were causing an oversupply on the markets of Europe. This challenged the coureurs trade because they so easily evaded controls, monopolies, and taxation, and additionally because the coureurs trade was held to debauch both French and various indigenous groups. The coureur debauched Frenchmen by accustoming them to fully live with indigenous, and indigenous by trading on their desire for alcohol. [51]

The issues caused a great rift in the colony, and in 1678, it was confirmed by a General Assembly that the trade was to be made in public so as to better assure the safety of the indigenous population. It was also forbidden to take spirits inland to trade with indigenous groups. However these restrictions on the coureurs, for a variety of reasons, never worked. The fur trade remained dependent on spirits, and increasingly in the hands of the coureurs who journeyed north in search of furs. [51]

As time passed, the Coureurs des bois were partially replaced by licensed fur trading endeavors, and the main canoe travel workers of those endeavors were called voyageurs.

Indigenous peoples Edit

The French were interested in exploiting the land through the fur trade as well as the timber trade later on. Despite having tools and guns, the French settlers were dependent on Indigenous people to survive in the difficult climate in this part of North America. Many settlers did not know how to survive through the winter the Indigenous people showed them how to survive in the New World. They showed the settlers how to hunt for food and to use the furs for clothing that would protect them during the winter months. [53]

As the fur trade became the dominant economy in the New World, French voyageurs, trappers and hunters often married or formed relationships with Indigenous women. This allowed the French to develop relations with their wives' Indigenous nations, which in turn provided protection and access to their hunting and trapping grounds.

The fur trade benefited Indigenous people as well. They traded furs for metal tools and other European made items that made their lives easier. Tools such as knives, pots and kettles, nets, firearms and hatchets improved the general welfare of indigenous peoples. At the same time, while everyday life became easier, some traditional ways of doing things were abandoned or altered, and while Indigenous people embraced many of these implements and tools, they also were exposed to less vital trade goods, such as alcohol and sugar, sometimes with deleterious effect. [54]

Formal entry of England in New France area fur trade Edit

Since Henry Hudson had claimed Hudson Bay, and the surrounding lands for England in 1611, English colonists had begun expanding their boundaries across what is now the Canadian north beyond the French-held territory of New France. In 1670, King Charles II of England issued a charter to Prince Rupert and "the Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay" for an English monopoly in harvesting furs in Rupert's Land, a portion of the land draining into Hudson Bay. This is the start of the Hudson's Bay Company, ironically aided by French coureurs des bois, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers, frustrated with French license rules. [55] [56] [57] Now both France and England were formally in the Canadian fur trade. [58]

The economy of La Louisiane Edit

The major commercial importance of the Louisiana Purchase territory was the Mississippi River. New Orleans, the largest and most important city in the territory, was the most commercial city in the United States until the Civil War, with most jobs there being related to trade and shipping there was little manufacturing. The first commercial shipment to come down the Mississippi River was of deer and bear hides in 1705. [59] The area, always loosely defined in those early times of European claims and settlements, extended as far east as the city that is now Mobile, Alabama, begun by French settlers in 1702.

The French (later Spanish) Louisiana Territory was owned by France for a number of years before the money-losing territory was transferred to French banker Antoine Crozat in 1713 for 15 years. After losing four times his investment, Crozat gave up his charter in 1717. Control of Louisiana and its 700 inhabitants was given to the Company of the Indies in 1719. The company conducted a major settlement program by recruiting European settlers to locate in the territory. Unemployed persons, convicts and prostitutes were also sent to the Louisiana Territory. After the bankruptcy of the company in 1720, control was returned to the king. [59] [60]

Louis XV saw little value in Louisiana, and to compensate Spain for its losses in the Seven Years' War, he transferred Louisiana to his cousin Charles III in 1762. Louisiana remained under the control of Spain until it was demanded to be turned over to France by Napoleon. Although Louisiana was property of France by the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800, Louisiana continued to be administered by Spain until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Following the American acquisition of the territory, its population tripled between 1803 and Louisiana statehood in 1812.

Before the arrival of European colonists and explorers, First Nations followed a wide array of mostly animistic religions. [61] During the colonial period, the French settled along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, specifically Latin Rite Roman Catholics, including a number of Jesuits dedicated to converting the indigenous population an effort that eventually proved successful. [62]

The French Catholic Church, which after Champlain's death was the dominant force in New France, wanted to establish a utopian Christian community in the colony. [63] In 1642, they sponsored a group of settlers, led by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, who founded Ville-Marie, precursor to present-day Montreal, farther up the St. Lawrence. [64] Throughout the 1640s, Jesuit missionaries penetrated the Great Lakes region and converted many of the Huron. The missionaries came into conflict with the Iroquois, who frequently attacked Montreal.

The presence of Jesuit missionaries in Huron society was nonnegotiable. The Huron relied on French goods to facilitate life and warfare. Because the French would refuse trade to all indigenous societies that denied relations with missionaries, the Huron had more of a propensity towards Christian conversion. [65] The Huron heavily relied on European goods to perform burial ceremonies known as The Huron Feast of the Dead. Trading with the French allowed for larger amounts of decorative goods to be buried during ceremonies as opposed to only a bare minimum. [65] With the growing epidemics and high number of deaths, the Huron could not afford to lose relations with the French, fearing to anger their ancestors. [65]

Jesuit missionaries explored the Mississippi River, in the territory of the Illinois. Father Jacques Marquette and explorer Louis Jolliet traveled in a small party, starting from Green Bay down the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi River, communicating with the tribes they met en route. Although Spanish trade goods had reached most of the indigenous peoples, these were the first Frenchmen to connect in the area named for the Illinois, including the Kaskaskia. They kept detailed records of what they saw and the people they met, sketching what they could, and mapped the Mississippi River in 1673. [66] Their travels were described as first contacts with the indigenous peoples, though evidence of contact with Spanish from the south was clear. [66]

Subsequent to the arrival of French children in Quebec in 1634, measles was also brought along with them, which quickly spread among the indigenous peoples. [67] Jesuit priest Jean de Brébeuf described the symptoms as being severe. Brebeuf stated that the fearlessness of the indigenous peoples towards death upon this disease made them perfect candidates for conversion to Christianity. [67] The indigenous peoples believed that if they did not convert to Christianity, they would be exposed to the evil magic of the priests that caused the illness. [65]

Jesuit missionaries were troubled by the absence of patriarchy in indigenous communities. Indigenous women were highly regarded within their societies and participated in political and military decisions. [68] Jesuits attempted to eliminate the matriarchy and shift the powers of men and women to accommodate those of European societies. "In France, women are to be obedient to their masters, their husbands." [69] Jesuits would attempt to justify this to the indigenous women in hopes to enlighten them on proper European behavior. In response, Indigenous women grew worrisome of the presence of these missionaries fearing they would lose power and freedom within their communities. [69]

By 1649, both the Jesuit mission and the Huron society were almost destroyed by Iroquois invasions (see Canadian Martyrs). In 1653, a peace invitation was extended by the Onondaga Nation, one of the five nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. to New France and an expedition of Jesuits, led by Simon Le Moyne, established Sainte Marie de Ganentaa in 1656. The Jesuits were forced to abandon the mission by 1658, as hostilities with the Iroquois resumed. [70]

The second article of the charter of the Compagnie des Cent-Associés stated that New France could only be Roman Catholic. [71] This resulted in Huguenots facing legal restrictions to enter the colony when Cardinal Richelieu transferred the control of the colony to Compagnie des Cent-Associés in 1627. Protestantism was then outlawed in France and all its overseas possessions by the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685. [71] In spite of that, approximately 15,000 Protestants settled in New France by using socioeconomic pretexts while at the same time concealing their religious background. [72]

Early history in New France (pre-1663) Edit

In the early stage of French settlement, legal matters fell within the Governor of New France's purview. [73] Under this arrangement, legal disputes were settled in an incoherent fashion due to the Governor's arbitrariness in issuing verdicts.

Since 1640, a Seneschal (sénéchal), a Judge (juge d'épée, which literally means 'sword-bearing judge'), and a jurisdiction in Trois-Rivières were created. [73] However, the Seneschal was under the oversight by the Governor, hence the Governor still had rather extensive control over legal matters in New France. [73] In 1651, the Company of New France made the Great Seneschal (Grand Sénéchal) the chief justice. [73] However, the Island of Montreal had its special Governor at that time, who also administered justice on the Island, and had not handed over justice to the Grand Seneschal until 1652. [74]

In practice, though, the Great Seneschal was awarded as an honorary title to the son of Jean de Lauson, then Governor of New France judicial functions were in fact carried out by the Seneschal's deputies. [75] These deputies included such officials as the civil and criminal lieutenant general (lieutenant général civil et criminel), the special lieutenant (lieutenant particulier, acting as assistant royal judge), and the lieutenant fiscal (lieutenant fiscal, acting as tax magistrate). [75]

The Civil and Criminal Lieutenant General sat as judge in trials at first instance, whereas appeals would be adjudicated by the Governor, who held the sovereign right to settle final appeals on behalf of the French king. The Great Seneschal also had a magistrate in Trois-Rivières, as well as a bailiff formed by the Society of Priests of Saint Sulpice on the Island of Montreal. [76]

Apart from judicial responsibilities, the Great Seneschal was also in charge of convening local nobility in New France, as well as issuing declarations of war if necessary. [74] However, such alternative role of the Great Seneschal was much weakened soon after by having the rights to declare war and to administer finances stripped off from the office because the French crown feared that colonial officers held too much authority. [74]

Legal Reforms 1663 Edit

Royal judges and the Sovereign Council Edit

On 13 October 1663, the royal court replaced the Seneschal Office (sénéchaussée). Canada was divided into three districts: the district of Quebec City, the district of Trois-Rivières, and the district of Montreal. [77] Each district had its own separate jurisdiction with a judge appointed by the Crown, known as the civil and criminal lieutenants general. [77] They were responsible for all legal matters, civil and criminal, in each of the districts. [77]

In addition to the royal judges, there were other judicial officers in each district. The clerk of court (registrar) was responsible for transcribing all court proceedings as well as other documents relevant to each of the cases. [76] The king's attorney (procureur du roi) was responsible for inquiring into the facts and preparing the case against the accused. [78] In the districts of Quebec City and Montreal, the royal judges had special lieutenants to substitute them whenever they were absent or sick. [78] Feudal courts heard minor cases. [79] [80]

The reform also brought the Sovereign Council of New France (Conseil souverain) into existence, which was later renamed the Superior Council (Conseil supérieur). The Sovereign Council effectively acted as the functional equivalent of a Council of State (Conseil d'État) for New France, having the authority to hand down verdicts on final appeal. [81] Initially, the Council convened once every week, and the quorum of the Sovereign Council was seven for criminal matters, or five for civil cases. [81] The council's practices evolved over time. At the Sovereign Council there was a king's attorney-general (procureur général du roi) in charge of the similar tasks as the district king's attorneys. [82] He was also responsible for supervising the king's attorneys' daily operations as well as execution of royal edicts and regulations passed by the council in their respective districts. [83]

The Custom of Paris Edit

In 1664, the Custom of Paris (coutume de Paris) was formally set as the main source of law for civil law in France's overseas empire. All royal judges and king's attorneys in New France had to be thoroughly familiar with this compilation of rules. [81] The Custom governed various civil aspects of the daily life in New France, including property, marriage, inheritance, and so on.

Montreal Island: transition from feudal justice to royal justice Edit

The Island of Montreal was a special case because its judiciary had been previously held by the Society of St-Sulpice. In 1663, Governor-General of New France Augustin de Saffray de Mésy originally considered appointing Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve the Governor of the Island of Montreal and consolidating a royal jurisdiction on the island, but the plan garnered the St-Sulpicians' disapproval, who held the Island as its own fiefdom and effectively acted as the island's governor. [84] In other words, the Sovereign Council had not been able to seize effective control over the legal matters of the Island instead, the St-Sulpicians administered justice on the island.

It was not until 16 September 1666, that the St-Sulpicians finally handed over the justice of the Island of Montreal to the Intendant of New France. [85] In 1693, the French king commanded the replacement of the ecclesiastical courts in Montreal with a royal court composed of one royal judge, with appeals going to the Sovereign Council. The introduction of a royal court on the Montreal Island also resulted in the abolition of the feudal court in the fief of Trois-Rivières (then held by the Jesuits). [86]

Quebec: founding of the Provostry of Quebec Edit

In the Quebec City district, the lower court (tribunal antérieur) was established in 1664 and had jurisdiction to try cases at first instance, but then it was abolished in 1674. [87] The Sovereign Council appointed trial judges (juges inférieurs) to adjudicate cases at first instance until the Provostry of Quebec (prévôté de Québec) was created in May 1677.

The Provostry of Quebec was located in the Hall of Justice (palais de justice) in Quebec City and had only one royal judge, also known as the civil and criminal lieutenant general of Quebec City, who heard both civil and criminal cases, as well as district police. [87] Additionally, a court clerk and a king's attorney were appointed to the court if either of these two officers could not attend the trials due to illness or other untenable circumstances, the Intendant would appoint a temporary substitute. [87]

Criminal Justice Edit

In the early stages of French colonization, the execution of criminal justice in New France were rather arbitrary. The Governor of New France served as the judge to the colonists as well as soldiers. He would announce his verdict at the presence of the chiefs of the Company of One Hundred Associates and that would be final. [88]

After the Sovereign Council was established in Quebec in 1663, the Council carried out criminal justice according to the general ordinances of France. [88] In 1670, the Criminal Ordinance was enacted in New France by order of the French king as a codification of the previous criminal laws passed by the Sovereign Council. [89]

Special courts Edit

Ecclesiastical court Edit

The ecclesiastical court (tribunal ecclésiastique, or Officialité) was a special court for hearing first instance trials on both religious and secular affairs involving members of the Church. [90] It first appeared in around 1660 but was not officially recognized by state authorities for it was not administered by a bishop, until 1684. [90] Appeals from this court lay with the Sovereign Council. [90]

Admiralty court Edit

The court of admiralty was created on 12 January 1717 and was the last judicial body set up in Canada during the French colonial period. [91] The court had a judge (also known as the lieutenant-general of the court) appointed by the French admiralty, a king's attorney, a clerk of court, and one or two bailiffs (huissiers). [92] The admiralty court was located in Quebec City and had jurisdiction over all of New France except Louisiana and Louisbourg. [90] The court heard first instance trials on maritime affairs, including commerce and seamen's conduct. [90] During wartime, it also commanded maritime police. [90] Before 1717, the Quebec Provostry performed the duties of the admiralty court. [90]

Acadia Edit

Unlike Canada, Acadia's judicial system was somewhat under-developed during the New France period. Prior to 1670, Acadia was in a state of being torn between various European colonists. None of the countries—France, England, the Netherlands—were able to put in place a stable jurisdiction there.

In 1670, France regained control of Acadia and appointed Mathieu de Goutin as the Civil and Criminal Lieutenant (lieutenant civil et criminel) of Acadia. [93] Simultaneously, the Governor of Acadia was set up and his job was primarily the defense of Acadia from English invasion. [94] The Civil and Criminal Lieutenant was essentially supervised by the Governor, who held superior judicial authority over the Lieutenant, but for most of the time would let the Lieutenant mediate and decide legal affairs. [95]

Due to the situation in Acadia as a small settlement of around 399 settlers in 1670–71, vulnerable to foreign invasion, courts were minimal, consisting of only a Civil and Criminal Lieutenant and a king's attorney. [94] There was not an official court in Acadia, although the king's attorney of Acadia performed very similar duties as his counterpart in New France. [96] Yet since Acadia never actually had a court, there was no clerk of court instead, trials were recorded by a local notary. [96] It is difficult to trace the judicial history of French Acadia as the relevant archives were destroyed in a fire in 1708. [96]

The presence of settlers, of businesses from several European countries harvesting furs, along with the interests of the indigenous people in this new competition for North American resources set the scene for significant military conflicts among all parties in New France beginning in 1642, and ending with the Seven Years' War, 1756–1763.

Iroquois attacks against Montreal Edit

Ville-Marie was a noteworthy site for it was the center of defense against the Iroquois, the point of departure for all western and northern journeys, and the meeting point to which the trading Indians brought their annual furs. This placed Ville-Marie, later known as Montreal, at the forefront against the Iroquois, which resulted in its trade being easily and frequently interrupted. The Iroquois were in alliance with the Dutch and English, [97] which allowed them to interrupt the French fur trade and send the furs down the Hudson River to the Dutch and English traders. [51]

This also put the Iroquois at warfare against the Hurons, the Algonquians, and any other tribes that were in alliance with the French. If the Iroquois could destroy New France and its Indian allies, they would be able to trade freely and profitably with the Dutch and English on the Hudson River. [98] The Iroquois formally attacked the settlement at today's Quebec City in its foundation year of 1642, and in almost every subsequent year thereafter. [99] A militant theocracy maintained Montreal. In 1653 and 1654, reinforcements arrived at Montreal, which allowed the Iroquois to be halted. [100] [ self-published source ] In that year the Iroquois made peace with the French. [51]

Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, a colonist and soldier of New France, was a notable figure regarding the Iroquois attacks against Montreal. The Iroquois soon resumed their assaults against Montreal, and the few settlers of Montreal fell almost completely to hostile Iroquois forces. In the spring of 1660, Adam Dollard des Ormeaux led a small militia consisting of 16 men from Montreal against a much larger Iroquois force at the Battle of Long Sault on the Ottawa River. [101] They succeeded in turning back the Iroquois invasion and are responsible for saving Montreal from destruction. [102] The encounter between Ormeaux and the Iroquois is of significance because it dissuaded the Iroquois from further attacks against Montreal. [103]

King William's War Edit

In 1688, King William's War began and the English and Iroquois launched a major assault on New France, after many years of small skirmishes throughout the English and French territories. New France and the Wabanaki Confederacy were able to thwart New England expansion into Acadia, whose border New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. [104] [105] [106] King William's War ended in 1697, but a second war (Queen Anne's War) broke out in 1702. Quebec survived the English invasions of both these wars, and during the wars France seized many of the English Hudson's Bay Company fur trading centres on Hudson Bay including York Factory, which the French renamed Fort Bourbon.

Queen Anne's War Edit

While Acadia survived the English invasion during King William's War, the colony fell during Queen Anne's War. The final Conquest of Acadia happened in 1710. In 1713, peace came to New France with the Treaty of Utrecht. [107] Although the treaty turned Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and part of Acadia (peninsular Nova Scotia) over to Great Britain, France remained in control of Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) (which also administered Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island)). The northern part of Acadia, what is today New Brunswick and Maine, remained contested territory. Construction of Fortress Louisbourg on Île Royale, a French military stronghold intended to protect the approaches to the St. Lawrence River settlements, began in 1719. [108]

Father Rale's War Edit

In Acadia, however, war continued. Father Rale's War (1722–1725) was a series of battles between New England and the Wabanaki Confederacy, who were allied with New France. New France and the Wabanaki Confederacy defended against the expansion of New England settlements into Acadia, whose border New France defined as the Kennebec River in southern Maine. [104] [105] [106] After the New England Conquest of Acadia in 1710, mainland Nova Scotia was under the control of New England, but both present-day New Brunswick and virtually all of present-day Maine remained contested territory between New England and New France. To secure New France's claim to the region, it established Catholic missions among the three largest indigenous villages in the region: one on the Kennebec River (Norridgewock) one further north on the Penobscot River (Penobscot) and one on the Saint John River (Medoctec). [109] [110]

The war began on two fronts: when New England pushed its way through Maine and when New England established itself at Canso, Nova Scotia. As a result of the war, Maine fell to the New Englanders with the defeat of Father Sébastien Rale at Norridgewock and the subsequent retreat of the indigenous peoples from the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers to St. Francis and Becancour, Quebec. [a]

King George's War Edit

Peace lasted in Canada until 1744, when news of the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession (King George's War in North America) reached Fort Louisbourg. The French forces went on the attack first in a failed attempt to capture Annapolis Royal, the capital of the British Nova Scotia. In 1745, William Shirley, governor of Massachusetts, led a counterattack on Louisbourg. Both France and New France were unable to relieve the siege, and Louisbourg fell to the British. With the famed Duc d'Anville Expedition, France attempted to retake Acadia and the fortress in 1746 but failed. The fortress was returned to France under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, but the peace treaty, which restored all colonial borders to their pre-war status, did little to end the lingering enmity between France, Britain, and their respective colonies, nor did it resolve any territorial disputes.

Father Le Loutre's War Edit

Within Acadia and Nova Scotia, Father Le Loutre's War (1749–1755) began with the British founding of Halifax. During Father Le Loutre's War, New France established three forts along the border of present-day New Brunswick to protect it from a New England attack from Nova Scotia. The war continued until British victory at Fort Beausejour, which dislodged Father Le Loutre from the region, thereby ending his alliance with the Maliseet, Acadians and Mi'kmaq. [110]

French and Indian War Edit

Fort Duquesne, located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers at the site of present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, guarded the most important strategic location in the west at the time of the Seven Years' War. It was built to ensure that the Ohio River valley remained under French control. A small colonial force from Virginia began a fort here, but a French force under Claude-Pierre Pécaudy de Contrecœur drove them off in April 1754. New France claimed this as part of their colony, and the French were anxious to keep the British from encroaching on it. The French built Fort Duquesne here to serve as a military stronghold and as a base for developing trade and strengthening military alliances with the indigenous peoples of the area.

In 1755, General Edward Braddock led an expedition against Fort Duquesne, and although they were numerically superior to the French militia and their Indian allies, Braddock's army was routed and Braddock was killed. [111] Later that same year at the Battle of Lake George, the British General William Johnson with a force of 1700 American and Iroquois troops defeated a French force of 2800 French and Canadians and 700 Native Americans led by Baron Dieskau (Military commander of New France).

The fight for control over Ohio Country led to the French and Indian War, which began as the North American phase of the Seven Years' War (which did not technically begin in Europe until 1756). The war began with the defeat of a Virginia militia contingent led by Colonel George Washington by the French troupes de la marine in the Ohio valley. As a result of that defeat, the British decided to prepare the conquest of Quebec City, the capital of New France. The British defeated France in Acadia in the Battle of Fort Beausejour (1755) and then Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) (which also administered Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) with the Siege of Louisbourg (1758).

Throughout the war, the British forcibly removed the Acadians from their lands, which the Mi'kmaq and Acadian militias resisted. The Great Upheaval continued from 1755 to 1764.

These British military successes were resisted, with successes by the French and Native Americans. In 1756, a large force of French, Canadians, and their Native American allies led by Marquis de Montcalm launched an attack against the key British post at Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario from Fort Frontenac and forced the garrison to surrender. The following year Montcalm with a huge force of 7200 French and Canadians and 2400 Native Americans laid siege to Fort William Henry on the southern shores of Lake George, and after three weeks of fighting the British commander Monroe surrendered. Montcalm gave him honorable terms to return to England and not to fight for 18 months. And yet, when the British force with civilians was three miles from the fort, the Native American allies massacred about 1100 of the 1500 strong force.

The following year the French had one victory and one defeat. The defeat was at the French fortress city of Louisbourg. The victory was at the strip of land between Lake Champlain and Lake George at the French fortress of Fort Carillon. The British force sent to capture Fort Carillon (held by just 3400 French regulars and marines with almost no militia or indigenous support) was the largest ever seen in America at that time: 16,200 British, American, and Iroquois troops under the command of General James Abercrombie. This battle cost the British 2200 troops, several artillery pieces against French losses of around 200 killed or wounded.

While the British Conquest of Acadia happened in 1710, the French continued to remain a significant force in the region with Fort Beausejour and Fortress Louisbourg. The dominant population in the region remained Acadian, that is to say, not British. In 1755, the British were successful in the Battle of Beausejour and immediately after began the expulsion of the Acadians.

In the meantime the French continued to explore westwards and expand their trade alliances with indigenous peoples. Fort de la Corne was built in 1753, by Louis de la Corne, Chevalier de la Corne just east of the Saskatchewan River Forks in what is today the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. This was the furthest westward outpost of the French Empire in North America to be established before its fall.

In 1758, British forces again captured Louisbourg, allowing them to blockade the entrance to the St. Lawrence River. This proved decisive in the war. In 1759, the British besieged Quebec by sea, and an army under General James Wolfe defeated the French under General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in September. The garrison in Quebec surrendered on 18 September, and by the next year New France had been conquered by the British after the attack on Montreal, which had refused to acknowledge the fall of Canada. The last French governor-general of New France, Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, surrendered to British Major General Jeffery Amherst on 8 September 1760. France formally ceded Canada to the British in the Treaty of Paris, signed 10 February 1763. [112]

The expelled Acadians were initially dispersed across much of eastern North America (including the Thirteen Colonies) and some were sent to France. Many eventually settled in Quebec or Louisiana, while others returned to the regions of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Chéticamp, Nova Scotia and the Magdalen Islands have significant communities. In Louisiana their descendants became known as the Cajuns, a corruption of the French Acadiens.

By the mid 1700s the French settlers were well established with a population around 70,000, mainly due to natural increase. [113] [114] The European population had grown slowly under French rule. [34] [115] [116] The British Thirteen Colonies to the south along the Atlantic coast grew in population from natural increase and more new settlers from Europe. By 1760, almost 1.6 million people lived in the British colonies, a ratio of approximately twenty-three to one compared to New France. [117] The population of the New England colonies alone in 1760 was nearly 450,000.

French culture and religion remained dominant in most of the former territory of New France until the arrival of British settlers led to the later creation of Upper Canada (today Ontario) and New Brunswick. The Louisiana Territory, under Spanish control since the end of the Seven Years' War, remained off-limits to settlement from the thirteen American colonies.

Twelve years after the British defeated the French, the American Revolutionary War broke out in the Thirteen Colonies. Many French Canadians would take part in the war, including Major Clément Gosselin and Admiral Louis-Philippe de Vaudreuil. After the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781, the Treaty of Versailles gave all former British claims in New France below the Great Lakes into the possession of the nascent United States. A Franco-Spanish alliance treaty returned Louisiana to France in 1801, but French leader Napoleon Bonaparte sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, ending French colonial efforts in North America.

The portions of the former New France that remained under British rule were administered as Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791–1841, and then those regions were merged as the Province of Canada during 1841–1867, when the passage of the British North America Act of 1867 instituted home rule for most of British North America and established French-speaking Quebec (the former Lower Canada) as one of the original provinces of the Dominion of Canada. The former French colony of Acadia was first designated the Colony of Nova Scotia but shortly thereafter the Colony of New Brunswick, which then included Prince Edward Island, was split off from it.

In Canada, the legacy of New France can be seen in the enduring Francophone identity of its descendants, which has led to institutional bilingualism in Canada as a whole.

The only remnant of the former colonial territory of New France that remains under French control to this day is the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon (French: Collectivité territoriale de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon), consisting of a group of small islands 25 kilometres (16 mi 13 nmi) off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

Before the Treaty of Utrecht, the territory of New France was divided into four colonies:

The Treaty of Utrecht resulted in the relinquishing of French claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, and the establishment of the colony of Île Royale, now called Cape Breton Island, where the French built the Fortress of Louisbourg. [8] [118] Acadia had a difficult history, with the Great Upheaval, remembered on July 28 each year since 2003. The descendants are dispersed in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, in Maine and Louisiana in the United States, with small populations in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia and the Magdalen Islands.

The Conquest (referring to the fall of New France to the British, and specifically the events of 1759-60) has always been a central and contested theme of Canadian memory. Some Anglophone historians portray the Conquest as a victory for "British military, political and economic superiority" and argue that it ultimately brought benefits to the French settlers. [119] However, Cornelius Jaenen notes that French-Canadian historians remain strongly divided on the subject. One group sees it as a highly negative economic, political and ideological disaster that threatened a way of life with materialism and Protestantism. At the other pole are those historians who see the positive benefit of enabling the preservation of language, and religion and traditional customs under British rule. [119] French-Canadian debates have escalated since the 1960s, as the conquest is seen as a pivotal moment in the history of Québec's nationalism. Francophone historian Jocelyn Létourneau suggested in 2009, that today, "1759 does not belong primarily to a past that we might wish to study and understand, but, rather, to a present and a future that we might wish to shape and control." [120]

The enduring contestation of the legacy of the Conquest can be exemplified by an episode in 2009, when an attempt to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the battle of the Plains of Abraham was cancelled. The explanation for the cancellation was that it was over security concerns, but activist Sylvain Rocheleau stated, "[I think] they had to cancel the event because it was insulting a majority of Francophones. They had to cancel it because it was a bad idea.". [121]

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Isaac Brock was a British major-general and administrator, who served in various parts of the Empire for nearly thirty years, serving in the Caribbean, Denmark, and elsewhere. During that time he challenged duelists, nearly died from fever, was injured in battle, faced both desertions and near mutinies, and also had the privilege of serving alongside Lord Nelson. However, he is best remembered for his actions while assigned to the Canadian colonies. Brock was assigned to Canada in 1802, eventually reaching the rank of Major-General. In this capacity, he was responsible for defending Canada from the United States during the War of 1812. While many in Canada and in England believed war could be averted, Brock began preparing the army, the militia, and the populace for what was to come. Thus, when war broke out, Canada was prepared, and quick victories at Fort Mackinac and in the Battle of Detroit crippled American invasion efforts, securing Brock's reputation as a brilliant leader and strategist. His death in the Battle of Queenston Heights was a crushing blow to British leadership. Brock's efforts earned him accolades, a knighthood, and the moniker "The Hero of Upper Canada".

The Fur Trade

This was not an unrealistic expectation, for when Hernando Cortes conquered the Aztec Empire in Mexico in 1518 and 1519, he found incredible quantities of precious metals, as did Francisco Pizarro when he conquered the Inca Empire in 1534. A French explorer, Jacques Cartier, explored the St. Lawrence River between 1534 and 1542 and expected to discover similar wealth or at least a waterway to Asia, which possessed valuable spices and silks. He was soon disappointed in both endeavors, for there were no precious metals along the St. Lawrence, nor did it lead to Asia. Nevertheless, the French soon found something that proved to be just as valuable: furs.

Europeans used furs in variety of ways. Many garments, especially those of the wealthy, were trimmed with the fur of animals such as fox, ermine, and sable. Europeans learned that beaver fur could be made into felt and fashioned into high hats, which soon became fashionable throughout the continent. Beavers were almost extinct in Europe but were plentiful in North America and possessed high-quality pelts.

Early Trade

The first Europeans to purchase furs from Indians were French and English fishermen who, during the 1500s, fished off the coast of northeastern Canada and occasionally traded with the Indians. In exchange, the Indians received European-manufactured goods such as guns, metal cooking utensils, and cloth. This trade became so lucrative that many fishermen abandoned fishing and made voyages to North America only to trade in furs, often before great explorers such as Cartier, Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), Henry Hudson, Giovanni da Verrazzano, and even Christopher Columbus made their famous voyages. While Cartier's voyages did not result in lasting French settlement in North America, they did expand trade between the French and Indians which had been going on before he arrived. Throughout the 1500s, French traders regularly landed their ships at Tadoussac near the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers and traded with Canadian Indians. Many tribes then traded some of these goods with other Indian groups farther into the interior.

No Frenchmen resided in Canada at this time, nor were there other European settlements along the northeast coast of North America. The traders simply came to trade and then went back to Europe. This changed in 1608 when Samuel de Champlain established the city of Quebec and the colony of New France in Canada. He was soon followed by Henry Hudson, an English ship captain employed by the Dutch, who established the rival settlement of New Amsterdam (now New York City) and Fort Orange (now Albany) in 1614, both of which were part of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Of lesser prominence were the English colonies of New England settled by the Puritans and Pilgrims beginning in the 1620s. Unlike the French and Dutch, the English came to farm rather than trade, but occasionally traded with local Indians as well. In 1664, the English conquered New Netherland and renamed it New York. Like the Dutch, the English traded primarily with the League of the Iroquois in northern New York and New England's Algonkian-speaking tribes. The French, on the other hand, traded with the Algonkian-speaking tribes of the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes regions, and the Iroquoian-speaking Huron of Lake Huron.

Wars Disrupt Trade

By the 1640s, many areas used by the Iroquois for gathering furs became exhausted. They initiated a series of wars that did not end until 1701, although there were long periods of relative peace during this 60-year period. Some of the fiercest fighting took place in the late 1640s and early 1650s. The combined forces of the League of the Iroquois destroyed some tribes such as the Erie and scattered others such as the Huron with the goal of monopolizing the Great Lakes fur trade and receiving more trade goods from the Dutch and English. In the course of these wars, many tribes such as the Potawatomi, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Sauk, and Fox were pushed from southern Michigan into Wisconsin. The Iroquois wars were particularly destructive, and many refugee Indians who fled into Wisconsin suffered from starvation and warfare with the two indigenous tribes, the Menominee and Ho-Chunk.

The Iroquois wars disrupted the flow of furs to the French colony of Quebec. Prior to the wars, the Huron had controlled the trade into the interior of North America, including Wisconsin. The level of trade the Hurons had into the Wisconsin area is unknown, but French sources suggest that the Huron and Ottawa both traded with Wisconsin Indians before any Europeans arrived. Jean Nicolet might have been the first European to arrive in Wisconsin, but he came as a French emissary rather than as a trader. He was followed 20 years later in 1654 by two traders, most likely Medart Chouart, Sieur Des Groseilliers, and his brother-in-law Pierre-Esprit Radisson. The two men made other voyages as well, and these initiated a period of almost constant contact between French traders and Wisconsin Indians.

Legal and Illegal Trade

The government of New France strictly controlled who could and could not venture into the upper Great Lakes region to trade. Indeed, after coming back from one of their journeys, Groseilliers and Radisson were admonished by the governor-general of the colony for leaving without his permission. Few Frenchmen were given such permission because the French wanted the Indians to bring the furs into the posts instead. The principal trading center in Wisconsin after 1659 was the Ottawa village at Chequamegon Bay on the southern shore of Lake Superior. After the destruction of the Huron by the Iroquois, the Ottawa became middlemen in the French fur trade. Great flotillas of canoes would leave Chequamegon Bay with furs and arrive at Montreal in Canada. There the Ottawa received European goods which they took back to Wisconsin and traded for furs with other tribes.

This situation began to change in the late 1660s. A temporary peace between the French and Iroquois initiated a great westward push of French traders into the Great Lakes region. The most famous was Nicolas Perrot, who made his first recorded voyage to Wisconsin in 1667. He returned in 1671 and established a series of small forts in Wisconsin that doubled as trading posts. Other Frenchmen followed. Soon, the forests swarmed with French traders, many of whom traded illegally and were labeled as coureurs de bois, or "forest runners." The problem of illegal traders was so bad that in 1696 the French king forbade Frenchmen from trading with Indians west of Montreal. This was also done because both legal and illegal traders had so glutted the French market that fur prices dropped significantly. This policy proved futile, for Frenchmen continued to enter the Great Lakes region for furs. The fur trade was restored in 1715, and although colonial officials in New France tried to curb the emigration of young Frenchmen into the Great Lakes region, these efforts bore no fruit. This particularly bothered officials in New France because the coureurs de bois usually sold their furs to English traders at Albany.

Europeans Battle for Trade

France and England were bitter enemies at this time. Indeed, one of the principal goals of the French fur trade during the 1700s was to maintain strong ties and military alliances with the Indians. Between 1698 and 1763, France and England fought a series of four wars for control of North America. Because the English colonies had a much larger population than New France, the French needed Indian allies to help them fight the English. The Indians continued to trade with the French because they wanted European goods. Despite this, Indian people did not become completely dependent upon European goods as is often believed. They preferred steel arrow points and iron kettles to those made of stone and clay, and muskets to bows and arrows but many of their older, traditional technologies persisted.

The British claimed Canada and the Midwest from the French between 1759 and 1763 in the French and Indian War. With this development, British traders from Canada and even a few American colonials entered the Great Lakes fur trade, although French Canadians continued to constitute the bulk of traders going west. The fur trade in Wisconsin reached its height in the last half of the 1700s because the British had less restrictive trade policies than the French and allowed more people to trade. The most significant trading center in the upper Great Lakes was at the Straits of Mackinac. Most traders in Wisconsin lived at the old French settlements of Green Bay and Prairie du Chien. So many new traders entered the region that cutthroat competition soon became a problem. To curb competition and increase profits, British traders in Canada began to pool their resources. In 1779, the famous North West Company was formed, and in 1798 a rival, the XY Company, arose. Both companies operated posts in northern Wisconsin. In southern Wisconsin, a group of merchants created the Michilimackinac Company in 1806 to monopolize the trade. These British companies were headquartered in Montreal, and sold trade goods on credit and took furs brought in by traders as payment.

Changes in Native Life

The United States claimed the region after the American Revolution in 1783, but Great Britain refused to evacuate its military posts on American soil because it accused the United States of not abiding in certain provisions of the 1783 peace treaty. In 1794, the two countries signed Jay's Treaty, and the British agreed to give up their posts. However, the treaty stipulated that British and French-Canadian traders be allowed to continue working in the Midwest. This allowed British companies in Canada to control the fur trade in the Midwest until 1815. Almost no Americans or American companies traded in the region at this time.

During the 1700s, especially under the British, the flow of trade goods steadily increased, dramatically affecting Indian people and their cultures as European-made items increased. By the 1750s, almost every Indian man in the Great Lakes region owned a musket or rifle, and Indian women relied almost exclusively on metal cooking kettles and other utensils. Most Indians wore clothes made of European-woven wool and cotton cloth rather than leather or fur. The fur trade also affected how the Indians conducted their seasonal rounds. In summer, they lived in large, semi-permanent villages that often consisted of several hundred people. In these villages, they fished, gathered, and grew crops for food. In the winter, these villages would split up into small hunting bands. As the fur trade grew more important, the Indians began their winter hunts earlier, focused on hunting animals that produced valuable pelts such as beavers and muskrats, and went farther away from their villages. For example, the Menominee near Green Bay regularly went to Minnesota to conduct their winter hunts.

The British phase of the fur trade ended in 1814. That year, Great Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Ghent, which officially ended the War of 1812. The earlier provision in Jay's Treaty that allowed Canadian traders to live and work in the Midwest was not included in the new treaty, and Congress quickly passed laws that forbade anyone who was not a U.S. citizen from participating in the trade. Traders at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien had to apply for citizenship if they wanted to ply their trade, and the vast majority did so. British companies in Canada were no longer allowed to send goods to these traders or buy their furs. After 1815, the New York-based American Fur Company moved quickly to monopolize the fur trade in the Great Lakes region. The company's owner, John Jacob Astor, known to be a fierce competitor, attempted to crush other trading companies that got in his way. Despite his efforts, Astor never gained a complete monopoly over the trade too many other Americans opposed him. However, Astor's company did manage to gain control of the majority of the trade in the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi valley.

The fur trade in these areas continued until the 1850s, but in many ways it was a declining business as early as the 1820s. Beaver had become over-hunted by the by the 1790s, and by the 1820s the species was nearly extinct in southern Wisconsin. Some species such as muskrat, deer, and marten remained abundant, but prices for these pelts were often low. Moreover, once the government began buying the Indians' land, especially in the 1830s, the Indians had an alternative source of income. Traders still took furs, but during the 1830s and 1840s they made more money selling goods to the Indians in exchange for their annuity money from land sales. In the 1850s, the Indians lived on reservations and could no longer harvest furs in their old hunting grounds. Many Indians turned to other forms of employment, particularly logging and lumber mills. The American Fur Company ceased operations in 1842 when it sold its interests in the upper Mississippi valley to Pierre Chouteau, Jr., and Company of St. Louis. By 1854, the partners who formed this company had quit the fur trade and moved into other businesses. A small group of men took over the American Fur Company's operations at Mackinac Island in 1834, but by 1854 this concern had also shut down. The Great Lakes fur trade effectively ended that year.

The First of the French and Indian Wars - History

The French and Indian War was part of the Seven Years War waged between France and England. They fought for control of North America and the rich fur trade.

The French, who had a strong presence in the Great Lakes region early on, built a fort at Green Bay in 1717 to tighten their hold on the western Great Lakes. They became embroiled in a series of wars with the Meskwaki (Fox) Nation. The conflicts disrupted fur-trade routes along the critical Fox-Wisconsin waterway to the Mississippi. The French also developed a new route along the Maumee, Wabash, and Ohio rivers to bypass the western lakes. This new trade route brought the French into sharper conflict with the British, whose colonists were seeking to claim the same areas. The British and French vied for control by courting local Native nations, but neither side was able to secure the region. The establishment of a series of French forts in the area prompted the colonists to take action. In 1754 Colonel George Washington led a Virginia militia force to demand removal of the forts, but had to retreat after a brief skirmish, the first in a series of encounters that led to war (the French and Indian War) the following year.

The rich lands which lay between and to the west of the French settlements of Canada and the British colonies along the East Coast of North America were inevitably destined to become a battleground between the forces of these two European rivals. From 1754 to 1763, the British and French fought for this wilderness of huge potential in a conflict which, though part of the wider Seven Years War, has come to be known as the French & Indian War. The French and Indian War was fought to decide if Britain or France would be the strong power in North America. France and its colonists and Indian allies fought against Britain, its colonists and Indian allies. The war began with conflicts about land. French explorers had been the first Europeans in the areas around the Great Lakes and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. France had sent traders and trappers to these territories and had established trading centers there. Britain claimed the same land. When the king gave land in North America to someone, the land was considered to extend from the East Coast to the West Coast, even though no one knew where the west coast was. The land along the east coast had become crowded, and settlers were moving west. White people were destroying the Indians' hunting areas. The Indians became worried that they would lose the use of their land. The Indian tribes may have been able to resist the people moving west if they had been united. But their own conflicts kept the Indian groups apart. When Britain and France started fighting each other, some Indians helped the British. Others helped the French.

The French settlers lived mainly in what was called New (Nouvelle) France. Today it is part of Canada. The French had many successes early in the war. Strong leadership within the military, the size of the French army, and the number of Indians who allied themselves to the French made it difficult for the British. In 1757, a new English prime minister, William Pitt, vowed to win the war against the French. In 1758, there were better trained British generals and more prepared armies fighting the French in North America. The British started to win battles. Also, Indians who had allied themselves to the French began to ally themselves to the British. In 1758, the British captured Fort Duquense and renamed it Fort Pitt. This was an important victory for the British and helped to raise the troops morale. The British were now able to focus on the French forts in Canada. The British took control of Fort Niagara, an important outpost for the French. From there, the British captured Quebec. After the British captured Quebec, the French were never able to recover. By 1760, the British controlled Montreal also. Once the British took Montreal, the fighting in North America was over. However, the Seven Years War continued in Europe and India and the Treaty of Paris was not signed until 1763. When the treaty was signed, the British were given control over the area west of the 13 colonies to the Mississippi River.

Source: Atlas of Wisconsin

Life in Nouvelle France was different from life in the British colonies to the south. There was no religious freedom, for example. All settlers in French territories had to be French and belong to the Roman Catholic Church. So, many French people who belonged to Protestant churches settled in the British colonies. France also did not like the fact that the British paid the Indians high prices for animal furs. France was more interested in the fur trade than in settling the land. The British hurt the French traders' business when they bought fur from the Indians.
French colonies in North America, isolated from France by British domination of the seas, were left mostly to their own meager resources to carry out the French and Indian War. Wisconsin native tribes--including the Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi--participated in military campaigns led by French army officer Charles de Langlade. However, by 1760 the French had lost Quebec and Montreal to the British.
The French and Indian War ended after the British defeated the French in Quebec. In 1760 the British took over Fort Pontchartrain (at Detroit) and renamed it Fort Detroit, effectively ending the war. However, the war "officially" ended in 1763 (when Britain and France signed the Treaty of Paris) in 1763. The British had won the French and Indian War. They took control of the lands that had been claimed by France (see below). France lost its mainland possessions to North America. Britain now claimed all the land from the east coast of North America to the Mississippi River. Everything west of that river belonged to Spain. France gave all its western lands to Spain to keep the British out. Indians still controlled most of the western lands, except for some Spanish colonies in Texas and New Mexico.

Source: Atlas of Wisconsin

The Treaty of Paris was the treaty that ended the French and Indian War . Although the fighting in North America had concluded in 1760, the Seven Years War was still being fought in Europe and in India. When the treaty was signed, the British were given control over the area west of the 13 British Colonies to the Mississippi River. Also, the French agreed to no longer support any colonies in North America, including all of the territory that is known as Canada. Since Spain had joined the war on the side of the French, the Spanish were also forced to give up their claim to Florida. The area of North America to the north and east of the Mississippi River was now under British rule. the Spanish still held their territory west of the Mississippi River and in Central and South America. The struggle for empire in North America would lead to even more wars, with dramatic effects on our state. Shifts from French to British and finally to American control were carried out in a century of nearly continuous fighting among France, Britain, the US, and Native American nations.

Symon Sez

On This Date In History: In Colonial times, the Crown made the rules and in 1763, England decreed that no settlements be made west of the Appalachian mountains. This decree was known as the Proclamation of 1763 and the intent was to prevent an escalation of fighting between English settlers and Native Americans.

Note that Extreme Western NC and East Tennessee Are Beyond The Boundary of the 1763 Proclamation

After the French and Indian War, English settlers poured over the mountains into the region formerly inhabited by the French. The Indians of the region formed an alliance under the Ottawa chieftain Pontiac in an effort to push back the intrusion. The proclamation was designed to give London control over westward expansion rather than provincial governments. The Native Americans really weren’t too keen on the proclamation because one of the provisions was that they had to cede more land for European settlement. But, they went along as they felt it was probably the best deal that they could get. The Cherokee worked hard to quickly draw the boundaries so as to preclude further White settlement. Nevertheless, frontiersman refused to abandon their outposts…remember Daniel Boone was running around what is now Kentucky in the 1760s.

Painting of Franklin in 1785 Looks As if Ben Were Asked About His Feelings Toward Having a State Named For Him

Several of the original coastal colonies stretched westward deep into the continent and colonial governments had a difficult time maintaining control of their western territories. In the 1670’s, revolt in western parts of Virginia led to Bacon’s Rebellion. In the case of the North Carolina Colony, the western boundary was the Mississippi River. The vast majority of inhabitants lived on the coastal plain, east of the Appalachian Mountains and they enjoyed the most services for their taxes and they also controlled the political system. Much as the folks in western Virginia in the 1670’s, people living in the western portion of North Carolina felt as if they had no representation in any political system and that they were forced to pay taxes in support of the regions along the coast. In 1772, hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in the mountains of what is now eastern Tennessee formed the Watauga Association. The effort was mainly for defense against the Indians but it also gave them a unified political voice. When the American Revolution came about, the Wataugans used their expert aim with their long rifles to defeat the British at King’s Mountain, South Carolina under the leadership of John ” Nolichucky Jack” Sevier. After the Revolution, the state of North Carolina wasn’t any nicer to the region than the king had been as they taxed the Wataugans “grievously….without enjoying the blessings of it.”

In 1784, it was apparent that it was politically impossible to effectively control the vast region of North Carolina and the state legislature offered to cede the Tennessee lands to the federal government. In response, the Wataugans held a convention and on this date in 1784 representatives of the people who lived in what is now eastern Tennessee voted to found the 14th state of Franklin. Even though the new “state” was named for him, Ben Franklin declined an invitation to visit but Thomas Jefferson approved of the move. They even elected John Sevier as Governor. But, they got a little ahead of themselves as only 7 of the 13 states agreed with Jefferson and the Constitution said that they needed 9 to gain statehood. Meanwhile, back in the North Carolina capitol of Raleigh, the state rescinded their offer of secession of its western lands to the federal government and arrested Sevier as a traitor! Undeterred, the state of Franklin continued to operate on its own until 1789. This was an illustration of the difficulty of the time as Raleigh making laws and decrees was one thing but being able to enforce the law in the west was another story. Eventually, in North Carolina gave in, pardoned Sevier and forgave the settlers back taxes and once again ceded the western lands to the Tennessee territory of which Franklin became part. When the territory was admitted to the Union in 1796, Sevier was elected its first Governor.

James Alex Baggett Wrote About the Union Cavalry From Tennessee

In truth, East Tennessee is a legal distinction as is Middle Tennessee and Western Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Constitution, no more than two state supreme court justices can come from any of the regions, thus insuring that each part of the state is represented on the state’s highest court. But, the regions also were, and to some degree still are, differentiated by their socioeconomic level. In the 1860’s, the eastern part of the state was the poorest of the three regions and had, by far, the fewest number of slaves. Yeoman farmers had little in common with wealthy slave owners. At the 1861 state secession convention, 29 counties in East Tennessee and 1 in Middle Tennessee spoke out against secession and threatened to once again form an independent state aligned with the Union. While they did not rejuvenate the state of Franklin, the folks in East Tennessee maintained their independence. During the Civil War, most of the mountain folks of East Tennessee remained loyal to the Union and proved to be a real thorn in the side of the Confederacy, much as they had to the King and to North Carolina.

Kevin T Barksdale Wrote About the Lost State of Franklin

If the US was ever invaded, I have thought there were parts of the country that would never be conquered and East Tennessee is near the top of my list. Today, one can find State of Franklin Blvd east Elizabethton, TN I’ve driven by it before it may even be in North Carolina but I can’t find it on a map. Just north of that Elizabethton is the town of Watauga. Not far to the east in North Carolina is Watauga County. Curiously, the town of Franklin, TN is nowhere near the region as it can be found south of Nashville.

Weather Bottom Line: As it turns out, the storms on Saturday morning robbed the atmosphere of so much energy when the front came through on Saturday night, it had nothing to work with. I should not have been so wishy washy. Declaring “If” and “Maybe” is not really making a forecast. My bad. We will be dominated by high pressure with relatively dry air in the region so for the week ahead, highs in the upper 80’s will feel quite refreshing. I really do think we’ve turned the corner on excessive heat for this year.

The King Should’ve Asked The People First March 24, 2010

If George Had Only Asked First.

French and Indian War Became Part of A Very Expensive Anglo-French Conflict

On This Date in History: Following the French and Indian War, Britain was left with a huge war debt. That particular conflict began in 1754 but got folded into a larger scale European war between the French and English that became known as the Seven Years War that concluded in 1763. Londoners were getting tired paying higher taxes to pay for the war and so the Crown had to look for other sources of income. King George III had risen to the head of the monarchy at age 22 at the death of his grandfather. Now, the previous two kings had been rather weak and Parliament had seized the lead in establishing policy in the English government. With the encouragement of his mother, George removed from power the coalition of Whigs who had been running the government. He used patronage to establish a new coalition that would allow him to have control over Parliament. While the old Whig coalition had been quite stable, George’s new coalition created ministries that proved not to last too long with each lasting in office but a couple of years.

Colonists Weren't Too Kind to Agents of the Crown

With the new regime and the end of the war, a new policy was set forth: the American colonies would start to pay for their defense. But, the colonists had been pretty much left alone almost from the outset of settlement and so any direction from across the pond was not well received. This was especially the case since the Crown didn’t ask the assemblies of each colony but instead made decrees. If you think about it, it really wasn’t too unreasonable for there to be some expectation for the colonies to pay for part of the costs associated with running a colonial system. And I suspect that the colonists would have agreed. But, the British government passsed new laws without the advise or consent of the colonial assemblies and that ran counter to their perceived rights as Englishmen. No matter what Parliament passed, the colonists were against it. The Sugar Act of 1764, the Currency Act of 1764 and the odious Stamp Act of 1765 all were resisted by the colonies. Ben Franklin was a colonial agent in London and had long argued that the resistance was to internal taxes taxes and duties from London on products and services that originated in the colonies. Franklin had differentiated between these internal and external taxes or duties slapped on good imported into the colonies.

Redcoats Were Not Welcome in New York

Charles Townsend had ascended to parliamentary power following the incapacitation of William Pitt. He listened to Franklin and so he issued the Townshend Program that included the Townshend Duties which were taxes put on lead, paint, paper and tea imported into the colonies. Well, in spite of what Franklin had argued, the colonies didn’t like that either because to the merchants and people taxes proclaimed by any body except for the a colony’s assembly ran counter to the rights of Englishmen. But, perhaps a more destructive portion of the Townshend Program had nothing to do with taxation but instead actual power. Townshend had proclaimed that the New York Assembly, the legislative body voted into office by the citizens of New York, was disbanded until it accepted the terms of the Mutiny Act of 1765. Most people are famliar with the Mutiny Act by a more common term: The Quartering Act of 1765.

Working With Colonial Assemblies Instead of Ruling By Decree Might Have Saved the Colonies For George III

During the French and Indian War, British generals had a difficult time getting provisions and quartering from the colonies for regular Army members. When requested, most colonies eventually voted to provide for what was requested but the process was difficult. As part of the effort, Lt. General Thomas Gage had convinced the New York Assembly to provide quartering of British regulars. That legislative action expired January 1, 1764. So, instead of getting the colonies to each pass quartering legislation, Parliament just issued the blanket Mutiny Act that included the Quartering Act of 1765 which required colonial governments to not only to provide a place for troops to lay their heads, but also food and supplies. And, neither the soldiers or the British government would pay for it. The colonists thought that since the war with the French was over there was no need for permanent British troops since they had never been stationed in America prior to the F&I War and Parliament had no right to compel such servitude without local legislative approval. The British said that the troops were necessary to defend the borders against Indian attacks and, as subjects, they were bound by Parliamentary Acts. The Quartering Act was passed on this date in 1765 and when 1500 British troops arrived in New York in 1766, the New York Assembly refused to make appropriations for them in any manner and they were forced to bunk on board the ships. See, the colonies felt like they had rights of self governance while King George looked at them as subjects to the rule of Parliament.

Tis Easy to Attact a Bear With Honey. Something George Should Have tried

The central government was probably reasonable in many of their requests. The colonists had in fact been providing for the British troops when the need was brought to their attention by General officers who negotiated with the assemblies. A large part of the Quartering Act was the fact that the Parliament and the king did not ask but instead imposed thier will on the people. Was it a good thing? Probably. Was it just? Probably. Did the people understand it? No. Had they simply gone to the assemblies like General Gage had, then there might not have been much of an issue. It could be argued that same line of thinking might have held with all of the taxation efforts. But, King George III wanted to show who held the power and so instead of convincing the people that it was in their best interest and necessary to accept these provisions, he instead wished to impose his authority. The result was a revolution from a bunch of otherwise loyal British subjects who tried to remain Englishmen but eventually felt that they had no voice. And therefore, they had no choice but to seek their independence.

SPC Thunderstorm Risk For Thursday

Weather Bottom Line: The forecast is running along as expected. Wednesday we pushed toward 70 in spite of increasing cloud cover. There is a southern system running along Dixie that will help trigger rain in our area and perhaps some t’storms on Thursday with temperatures in the 60’s. But, as I mentioned on Tuesday, the biggest threat for any real thunderstorm activity or even severe weather for that matter will be well to our south. The SPC got on board and put out an outline suggesting the same thing that I did on Tuesday with the edge of the t-storm activity just on our doorstep but the biggest threat for some action will be South. There is a cold front running down from the Northwest late Thursday evening that will pick up the system but we could see some shower activity the first part of Friday with improvements as the day progresses. Saturday looks pretty nice with highs in the low 60’s. Then Sunday another southern system passes us to the South and again brings rain but not real threatening conditions. I suspect that we’ll be fine for churchgoers but rain chances increase by the afternoon.

The One American Who Should Never Be Forgotten February 22, 2010

Gilbert Stuart's Familiar Painting of President Washington

On This Date in History: On this date in 1732 George Washington was born. His birthday used to be a National holiday on it’s own. I had to edit this post though to reflect the number of protestations from people pointing out that Washington’s Birthday is still the holiday, officially. I have to admit that I did not know that. Back in 1968, apparently the Feds moved the recognition from Feb 22 to the third Monday in February. It’s cheaper to have a 3 day weekend than it is to close offices in midweek. A few years ago when it was determined that there needed to be a birthday holiday for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. While Lincoln’s birthday was never a federal holiday, many states had such a designation. I broke a rule and assumed that it had been a federal holiday since I always got two days off from school. Anyway, since they added MLK, state governments did not want to increase the number of holidays so they eliminated the holidays for the birth of President Lincoln. The third Monday in February is still officially Washington’s birthday, but no one calls it that. Instead, it is referred to by the media and just about everyone else as President’s Day. That is utter nonsense. I mean, do we need a day to remember Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce and Chester A. Arthur? If states wanted to eliminate a day, it could have been Columbus Day. I suppose they didn’t want so may holidays in January and February. In any event, the point of this piece was not a debate about holidays…it’s about February 22. Today, I asked the students in my American History class what was significant about today. One said “we have an exam” another said “it’s Monday” and another reminded me that it was his birthday. That is the larger issue….for whatever reason, while it may not be official, pragmatically, we have lost Washington’s Birthday in the national lexicon. The distance between the “Father of the Country” and Americans is growing.

General Washington Resigning His Commission to Congress. He Voluntarily Surrendered Absolute Power, Not Once, But Twice. The Definition of the man, his character and integrity.

Recently, they came out with another poll of historians ranking the presidents. Lincoln came out on top followed by Washington. In my mind, General Washington is and always should be at the top of the list. I believe there is no other person who is more important in the history of the United States of America. In many regards, if it were not for him, there very well may not have been a President Lincoln, or William Henry Harrison or Warren G. Harding. He should be studied more in school and his day should remain. Instead of using my words to put out a full biography, instead, I am choosing on this day to commemorate his birth and life with some verbiage put out by historian David Hackett Fischer from Washington’s Crossing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 7-8.

“He was a big man, immaculate in dress, and of such charismatic presence that he filled the street even when he rode alone. A crowd gathered to watch him go by, as if he were a one-man parade. Children bowed and bobbed to him. Soldiers called him ‘Your Excellency,’ a title rare in America. Gentlemen doffed their hats and spoke his name with deep respect: General Washington.”

“As he came closer, his features grew more distinct. In 1776, we would not have recognized him from the Stuart painting that we know too well. At the age of forty-two, he looked young, lean, and very fit-more so than we remember him. He had the sunburned, storm-beaten face of a man who lived much of his life in the open. His hair was a light hazel-brown, thinning around the temples. Beneath a high forehead, a broad Roman nose bore a few small scars of smallpox. People remembered his soft blue-gray eyes, set wide apart and deep in their sockets. The lines around his eyes gave an unexpected hint of laughter. A Cambridge lady remarked on his ‘appearance of good humor.’ A Hessian observed that a ‘slight smile in his expression when he spoke inspired affection and respect.’ Many were impressed by his air of composure and surprised by his modesty.”

Fort Necessity Wasn't Much of a Fort

George Washington wasn’t always wildly successful but his life certainly is marked by perverence and a sense of duty. In 1754, the Governor of Virginia sent a militia force into the Ohio Valley to challenge French expansion in that area. A young, inexperienced colonel by the name of George Washington was put in command. Washington and his men camped at Fort Necessity, which was but a crude outpost not far from the far more substantial French fortification in what is present day Pittsburgh, or more specifically, about where Three Rivers Stadium housed the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Pirates. A detachment from the France’s Fort Duquesne was attacked by Washington’s forces but a French counterattack left Washington and his soldiers surrounded. After 1/3 of the British had died, Washington surrendered . The British were allowed to leave but this marked the beginning of the French and Indian War.

Washington's Daring Trek To Trenton and Then Princeton

By the spring of 1775, the Continental Congress established and made George Washington the singular commander in chief. While the Fort Necessity escapade was somewhat of a fiasco, he had more military experience than any other American-born officer who was available. He had been an early advocate of Independence and that was important since about a third of the colonists remained loyal to the crown, a third was riding the fence and the third that favored independence initially included a portion whose support was soft. But, above all, the reason the Continential Congress chose the aristicrat-planter from Virginia was that he was admired, respected and trusted by nearly every Patriot.

The theme that runs through the narrative of this man is one of unflinching respect. He was physically imposing for his time, and even would be today, standing somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 foot 2 inches with an extremely sturdy stature. We know about crossing the Delaware River on Christmas Eve 1776. It was a brilliant plan, but the weather was dangerously awful and it was Christmas Eve for his men too. So, it took great leadership to be able to get his men to execute the plan at night in sleet, rain and snow on Christmas Eve and do so by crossing a river under conditions that would make it near impossible to cross in daylight.

George Washington Cut an Impressive Figure

Washington’s mere presence was enough to bring the most arrogant of men to attention. He served as the President of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1787. It was a long hot summer and tempers flared to the point that several times, the conventioneer threatened to pack up and go home. But, when necessary, apparently all George Washington needed to do was rise from his chair and talk of dissovlement abruptly ended. Washington was the only president to be elected unanimously by the electoral college and he was elected unanimously twice. He followed the example set by Cincinattus, of Roman lore, and returned to his farm after his service. (The city of Cincinnati was so named in honor of General Washington) In fact, it is extremely unusual for someone to give up absolute power voluntarily and George Washington did it not once, but twice, when he surrendered his sword to Congress after the Revolution and then again refused to stand for a third term. In many ways, he set the tone that the nation has generally followed in the over two centuries that have followed.

We could use General Washington today. Without him, there may never have been a United States of America and the freedom that has spread around the world in the past two centuries may never have come to pass. May his life always be remembered in the singularity of respect that it deserves and demands.

Weather Bottom Line: I may update this later but, basically, I told you it would rain, though the weekend warmed up even more than I anticipated. Dont’ get used to it. Look for falling temperatures by Monday evening and then we’re back well be below average for the foreseeable future..perhaps into mid March. As it stands, a second push of decidedly colder air comes down on Wednesday and late Tuesday into Wednesday we may get some light snow squeezed out from the denser, Arctic air. Perhaps and inch of snow would fall over a 36 hour time frame. That would come after some insignificant light snow or flurries Tuesday with moisture wrapping around the low as it scoots to the northeast…but that won’t be much of a big deal. It’s not really coming together much but…if the data changes just a bit, we may have another significant snow event left in us for the first week of March..but, well see.

Who Pays Paris’ Phone Bills? Join Or Die! May 9, 2009

Hold The Phone, Paris! Did you see the movie, Pledge This? Well, not too many other people did either. See, it was a vehicle of that noted actress and producer Paris Hilton. It was only released in 25 theatres nationwide and now the investor who sunk over $8 million into the project want’s his money back.(see NY Post Story Here) Seems that he thinks that Paris didn’t do enough of promotion. But, her attornies say that she is the “single busiest person on the planet.” Actress? That’s for you to judge. But, executive producer?

Let’s let Paris tell us what an executive producer does: “I’m not sure what a producer does, but-I don’t know. Help get cool people into the cast.” And finally, in another part of the testimony, a lawyer was asking questions about her phone bills. Paris was flummoxed. She said she’s never seen a phone bill before. When asked who does see her phone bills, she answered, “I don’t know. Like, I’m assuming whoever pays my bills. I never ask about that stuff.” Somewhere, the Ghost of Marie Antoinette may or may not be whispering in Paris’ ear, “let them eat cake.”

Philadelphia Gazette May 9 1754

On This Date In History: From someone a bit more notable and less forgetable than Paris Hilton…You may recognize this snake from the HBO Miniseries “John Adams”. This was actually the first political cartoon to appear in American newspapers. It was constructed by Benjamin Franklin and the pieces of the snake represent each of the colonies or sections of the colonies. There was a superstition that a snake cut into pieces would re-unite after sunset. It went along with Franklin’s editorial referring to the “disunited state” of the colonies and how they were better off united.

Here’s the rub….this cartoon first appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette on this date in 1754. That is well before the colonists were talking separation from the crown. Nope, this was done in relation to the French and Indian War and the debate on whether the colonists would join in the fight against the French and their Indian allies. It showed up again in 1765 when the issue of the Stamp Act arose. Newspapers reprinted the cartoon though there were different interpretations of what it meant. Many colonists opposed to the Stamp Act associated the image with eternity, vigilance, and prudence. Those who were loyal to the King saw the cartoon with more biblical traditions, such as those of guile, deceit, and treachery. Franklin was opposed to the use of the cartoon at that time but it showed up in publications nearly every week for over a year.

Printed without permission!! Had the legal establishment been what it is today, Franklin may have sued. But I guess he was a pretty big hitter himself.

Preliminary Storm Reports May 8 2009

Weather Bottom Line: The situation on Friday was interesting. A derecho or something similar came across the plains toward the Ohio Valley. It’s orientation was such that it ran across a warm front with the jet stream to the north. The jet should have kept it going. I had thought that it would run out of steam when it got to the Appalacian Mountains. That part was correct. But, it is very interesting. When you look at the storm reports, there were 23 tornado reports and 176 wind reports. They stretched from Missouri to Eastern Kentucky. I believe every county in Southern Missouri was under either a t’storm or tornado warning at one time during the day. There was a report of 106 mph winds in Carbondale, IL. Most of the counties in South Central and South East Kentucky were under some type of warning. Yet, when you look at the damage reports above, you see a gap along the Ohio River from Louisville to the southeast. Very odd. We had a couple of inches of rain and minor flooding…but the wind damage was east and west. I suspect this will make a good graduate student thesis in the future.

After a front moves out early Saturday, a secondary cold front comes down later on Saturday…may trigger some showers or scattered t’storms but nothing overly rambunctious. The deepest moisture should get kicked east before it gets here. Cooler air will filter in on Sunday as high pressure builds in with highs on Mother’s Day in the 60’s and some sunshine. Right now, don’t etch it in stone, but late next week there is some inkling of something worthwhile in the t’storm department. Should be dry at least through the first couple of days of the week.

Join or Die May 9, 2008

What you see is the SPC severe risk for Friday and Saturday. Friday is the one with the small area of the slight risk to our South. Pretty unlikely for us to get anything worthwhile. We’re in the midst of a series of shortwaves wandering across the flow. So, look for rain and perhaps some t’storms on Friday afternoon or Friday night. The bulk of Saturday looks pretty good. Do your yardwork then. My yard looks like a jungle with all of the rain we’ve had. Next round of rain and t’storms comes Saturday night into Sunday with the biggest risk for bad stuff in Arkansas. Those folks have just been getting hammered this spring, haven’t they? Don’t plan on a picnic for mom because the rain may end by the afternoon but it will be windy and getting cooler. In spite of the big slight risk area, there is nothing that jumps out at me right now for there to be a huge concern at this time, but we will monitor it and I’m sure the risk area will be refined.

On This Date In HistoryYou may recognize this snake from the HBO Miniseries “John Adams”. This was actually the first political cartoon to appear in American newspapers. It was constructed by Benjamin Franklin and the pieces of the snake represent each of the colonies or sections of the colonies. There was a superstition that a snake cut into pieces would re-unite after sunset. It went along with Franklin’s editorial referring to the “disunited state” of the colonies and how they were better off united.

Here’s the rub….this cartoon first appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette on this date in 1754. That is well before the colonists were talking separation from the crown. Nope, this was done in relation to the French and Indian War and the debate on whether the colonists would join in the fight against the French and their Indian allies. It showed up again in 1765 when the issue of the Stamp Act arose. Newspapers reprinted the cartoon though there were different interpretations of what it meant. Many colonists opposed to the Stamp Act associated the image with eternity, vigilance, and prudence. Those who were loyal to the King saw the cartoon with more biblical traditions, such as those of guile, deceit, and treachery. Franklin was opposed to the use of the cartoon at that time but it showed up in publications nearly every week for over a year.

Printed without permission!! Had the legal establishment been what it is today, Franklin may have sued. But I guess he was a pretty big hitter himself.

Mohican Tribe:

The Mohican Tribe (also spelled Mahican) who lived in the northern end of the Hudson Valley, sided with the British during the entire series of French and Indian Wars (1688-1763) although they were originally allies of the French.

In 1650, the Mohicans joined the French anti-Iroquois alliance and traded with the French and the Dutch until the British took over New Netherlands in 1664.

Since the Mohicans had less influence with the British than other American Indians, they decided to leave the area and moved to western Massachusetts where they fell under the protection of the Iroquois.

Because the Iroquois were allies of the British, the Mohicans also sided with the British during the French and Indian War, but they played a limited role in the conflict, usually serving as British scouts or auxiliary troops.

To learn more about the French and Indian War, check out this article on the best books about the French and Indian War.

Watch the video: The French and Indian War (August 2022).