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Subject > Armed Forces > Naval Forces and Merchant Navy

Date > 1700 > 1750-1759 > 1756

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

War and the Foundation of Canada - The Seven Years’ War

Type: Document

During the 1750s, British North American colonies grew to the point that they began to spread into territory already occupied by the French colonies and First Peoples. After the expulsion of British settlers in 1754, an undeclared war broke out between French and British colonies.

Site: Canadian War Museum

Frigate under construction, around the mid-eighteenth century

Type: Image

This contemporary print show the hull of a frigate being covered with planks. To form the skin of the hull, shaped planks are being made and then attached to the ship's ribs. Note the finished plank being hoisted into place by a derrick at centre. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

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

Careening in the mid-eighteenth century

Type: Image

After several months at sea, ships' hulls became encrusted with small mollusks and worms, damaging them and slowing down the ships. Ships then had to be careened. This long and tedious operation, done at the naval yards of Quebec City and Louisbourg, consisted of inclining the ship and 'heating' its hull, that is, burning the crust off the planks with torches. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

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

Interior view of the Navy warehouses, around the mid­eighteenth century

Type: Image

This mid-18th century Spanish print gives an impression of the sort of storehouses that were necessary to support the building of warships, such as took place at Quebec between 1739 and 1759. Similar facilities would have existed at Louisbourg to supply the needs of French warships stationed there. (Museo Naval, Madrid)

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