New France (
French: Nouvelle-France) was the area
North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the
Gulf of Saint Lawrence by
Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to
Great Britain and
Spain in 1763 under the
Treaty of Paris (1763).
At its peak in 1712 (before the
Treaty of Utrecht), the territory of New France, also sometimes known as the French North American Empire or Royal New France, consisted of five colonies, each with its own administration:
Canada, the most developed colony and divided into the districts of
Montréal (before 1717, extending south through the
Acadie, in the northeast;
Plaisance, on the island of
Louisiane (after 1717, extending north through the Illinois Country); Thus, it extended from Newfoundland to the
Canadian prairies and from Hudson Bay to the
Gulf of Mexico, including all the
Great Lakes of North America.
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Drawing by a soldier of Wolfe's army depicting the easy climbing of Wolfe's soldiers.
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the
French and Indian War, the North American theatre of the
Seven Years' War. The confrontation, which began on 12 September 1759, was fought between the
British Army and
Navy, and the
French Army, on a
plateau just outside the walls of
Quebec City. The battle involved fewer than 10,000 troops between both sides, but proved to be a deciding moment in the conflict between France and
Britain over the fate of New France, influencing the later creation of Canada.
The culmination of a three-month
siege by the British, the battle lasted less than an hour. British troops commanded by General
James Wolfe successfully resisted the
column advance of French troops and New French militia under
Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm. Both generals were mortally wounded during the battle; Wolfe died on the field and Montcalm died the next morning. In the wake of the battle, France's remaining military force in Canada and the rest of North America came under increasing pressure from British forces. Within four years, nearly all of France's possessions in eastern North America would be ceded to Great Britain.
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Did you know?
- ...On July 3, 2008,
Quebec City celebrated its 400th birthday! It was the first city founded by Europeans in
North America, always on the same site. All year 2008 is devoted to festivities.
Battle of Quebec occurred on October 16, 1690 between the British and French forces. When the British sent a request for the city to surrender,
Frontenac replied "I have no reply to make to your general other than from the mouths of my cannons and muskets.". This legendary response, and a poor assessment of the fortifications by the British, allowed
France to keep Quebec for almost another seventy years.
- ...During the
Great Upheaval of the
1755, seventy-eight survivor families settled on
Belle Île in
France while the British took possession of French colonies in
America. Since then, their descendents have remained on the island. Today most islanders have Acadian ancestry.
Timelines of New France history
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Pierre Dugua de Monts, (c. 1558 – 1628) was a French merchant, explorer and colonizer. A
Protestant, he was born in
France and had a great influence over the first two decades of the 17th century. He travelled to northeastern
North America for the first time in 1599 with Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit.
Henry IV, the
King of France, granted Dugua exclusive right to colonize lands in North America between 40º – 60º North
latitude. The King also gave Dugua a monopoly in the
fur trade for these territories and named him Lieutenant General for
New France. In return, Dugua promised to bring 60 new colonists each year to what would be called l'Acadie.
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Québec or Quebec City, also Quebec City or Québec City (
French: Québec, or Ville de Québec), is the
capital of the
Quebec and is located within the
Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in the province – after
Montreal, about 233 kilometres (145 mi) to the southwest. Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in
Quebec was founded by
Samuel de Champlain on 3 July 1608 at the site of a long abandoned
St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona. It was to this settlement that the
name "Canada" refers. Although called the cradle of the
Francophone population in North America, the Acadian settlement at Port-Royal antedates it. The place seemed favourable to the establishment of a permanent colony.
The New France circa 1750