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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1700 > 1730-1739 > 1737

Compagnies franches de la Marine (Warships)

Type: Document

The names of troops raised by the French Ministry of Marine often confuse people. There were separate units of Compagnies franches de la Marine to serve aboard warships. These troops had nothing to do with the Compagnies franches found in Canada.

Site: National Defence

The Military Art of the American Northwest

Type: Document

War in the Pacific Northwest centred around the canoe, which could be up to 20 metres long. Flotillas of canoes would attack enemy villages, hoping to capture prisoners to keep as slaves. Coastal forts of cedar logs were to be found, used to help control and tax maritime trade.

Site: National Defence

The French And British Navies

Type: Document

Both Britain and France needed strong navies to protect their coasts, fishing fleets and colonies. The peak of French naval power was during the 1690s, when it dominated the coasts of England. Defeated in 1692, the French navy declined in quality and strength from that point on.

Site: National Defence

A Series of Amerindian Nations

Type: Document

During the eighteenth century, the northwest Pacific coast was home to a series of Amerindian nations, including the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Nootka and Salish. These were maritime cultures - excellent sailors and fishermen who depended on the sea's resources

Site: National Defence

A Russian Challenge

Type: Document

From 1725, Imperial Russia challenged the exclusive Spanish interest in the Pacific. With voyages of exploration, trade and small-scale settlement, the Russians established a presence in Alaska. The Spanish feared they would move south into northern California, too.

Site: National Defence

The Royal Navy

Type: Document

As an island state, Britain gave priority to its navy. The Admiralty (the appointed committee of admirals which made all strategic decisions) governed hundreds of ships worldwide. The Royal Navy used its bases in Canada to help control the Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Site: National Defence

Engineering and Naval Construction

Type: Document

Thanks to its supplies of wood and iron ore, Canada was the site of a shipyard building ships for the French Navy from 1739. A series of warships and transports were built. This site of a major shipyard in a colony was most unusual for the period.

Site: National Defence

Galley Troops

Type: Document

France would sentence convicted criminals to be rowers on a fleet of oar-propelled warships called galleys. These ships had troops assigned to them both to serve as marines, and also to guard the prisoners in these floating prisons.

Site: National Defence

Navy Bombardiers

Type: Document

The French Navy had its own units of artillery, serving shipboard and on land as needed. Detachments from these were to be found at times in New France.

Site: National Defence

The Crossing

Type: Document

British troops crossing the Atlantic during the 18th and 19th centuries were never comfortable. Transports were very crowded, with men sleeping 4 to a bunk. If bad weather prevented exercise on deck, epidemics were a real possibility. By sail, the trip took 2 or 3 months.

Site: National Defence