The Founding of New France

Throughout the rest of the 16th century the European fishing fleets continued to make almost annual visits to the eastern shores of Canada. Chiefly as a sideline of the fishing industry, there continued an unorganized traffic in furs. At home in Europe new methods of processing furs were developed and beaver hats in particular grew very fashionable. Thus new encouragement was given to the infant fur trade in Canada. In 1598 Troilus de Mesgouez, marquis de la Roche, set out for Canada armed with a new kind of authority--a royal monopoly which gave him the exclusive right to trade in furs.

La Roche established a small colony on Sable Island, an isolated Atlantic sandbar southeast of Nova Scotia. The settlement, which proved a dismal failure, was the first of a series of efforts by France to persuade various leaders to set up colonies in Canada in return for an official monopoly of the fur trade. Pierre Chauvin in 1600 established a trading post at Tadoussac, on the St. Lawrence River. This post survived for about three years.

In 1604 the fur monopoly was granted to Pierre du Guast, sieur de Monts. He led his first colonizing expedition to an island located near the mouth of the St. Croix River. This in time was to mark the international boundary between the province of New Brunswick and the state of Maine. Among his lieutenants was a geographer named Samuel de Champlain, who promptly carried out a major exploration of the northeastern coastline of what is now the United States (see Champlain). In the spring the St. Croix settlement was moved to a new site across the Bay of Fundy, on the shore of the Annapolis Basin, an inlet in western Nova Scotia.

Here at Port Royal in 1605 a settlement Champlain described as the Habitation was established. It was France's most successful colony to date. The land came to be known as Acadia

Discovery of Canada

Rediscovery and Exploration

Cartier's Explorations

End of the First Colonizing Effort

The Founding of New France

The Father of New France

For the Glory of God

Seigneur and Habitant

Governor, Intendant, and Bishop

French and English Rivalry

The Final Struggle for the Continent

Early British Rule

The Quebec Act of 1774

The United Empire Loyalists

Upper and Lower Canada

Settlement and Exploration in the West

The Selkirk Settlement

The War of 1812

Struggle for Self-Government

Mackenzie and Papineau Rebel

The Durham Report

Canada West and Canada East

The Colonies Grow Up

Settlement on the Pacific Coast

The Confederation Idea

Dominion from Sea to Sea

New Dominion Is Launched

Macdonald's National Policy

The Age of Laurier

Canada and World War I

Canada Between the Wars

The British Commonwealth of Nations

Canada and World War II

Postwar Developments

Centennial of Canadian Confederation

Quebec Separatism

Modern Canadian Leadership

Native Peoples Issues