||Immigration to New France
This lesson corresponds to material found in:
Episode 2 Adventures and Mystics
Louis XIV wanted to turn New France into a populated colony. In 1663, he abolished the Company of One Hundred Associates and named a governor, Courcelles, and an intendant, Jean Talon, to manage the colony. To end the terror inflicted by the Iroquois, the king sent the 1,200-soldier Carignan-Salières regiment to Canada. The soldiers arrived in 1666 and, in 1667, after a few battles, a peace was forged between the Iroquois and the French that lasted 20 years.
Once peace was assured, the colony needed to expand. To encourage population growth, Louis XIV and superintendent Jean Talon established several policies to deal with immigration, marriage and the birth rate. First, officers and soldiers were strongly encouraged to establish themselves in New France after their term of service: 400 of them agreed to stay. 1,000 young women, mostly orphans from the Paris region and nicknamed 'les filles du roi,' were sent to the colony. They soon married and the birth rate increased dramatically. Finally, enlisted men were sent to New France on a three-year residence contract. After 36 months of service, they had the right to return to France if they so desired, less than half actually did so.
From 1666 to 1672, the population of New France rose from 3,215 to 6,700 inhabitants. But war loomed again in Europe, and no new colonists could be sent from France. The first wave of organized immigration lasted barely seven years. There wouldn't be another for 80 years to come.
top of page