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17ème siècle



The beginnings of colonization and the organization of New France


On July 3, 1608, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec. It developed speedily and became the capital of New France, but was not able to long resist invasive British attacks.


Cardinal Richelieu, hoping to develop colonies on Canadian territory, set up the Company of One Hundred Associates in 1627, handing over ownership of the territory. The Company was granted a monopoly over fur trading, a very profitable business at that time. But this venture failed. Although the seigneurs were granted vast stretches of land, there was a lack of capital and the population found settlement difficult. Additionally, they were subject to ferocious attacks by the Iroquois, determined to drive them away. To deal with this distressful situation, Louis XIV reincorporated Canada into the Kingdom of France, providing it with a new stewardship that included a Governor, a Bishop, and an Intendant.


Far from being deterred, in 1642 some 50 French colonizers, led by De Maisonneuve, landed in New France and set up the village of Ville-Marie, the future city of Montréal. Thanks to Jean Talon's organizational skills, the colony became productive enough to feed and clothe itself, and its population grew from 2000 souls in 1660 to 10,000 in 1680. Agriculture became the economic basis of the colony.


But the British had not disappeared. They dominated trade in Hudson Bay, a situation that the French did not care for and which led to conflicts between the two nations.

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Grévin Montréal

Montreal Eaton Centre, Second floor
705 Sainte-Catherine Street West
office 5-104 | H3B 4G5
Montréal, Québec (Canada)

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