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Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life > Recruitment and Demobilization

Date > 1600 > 1660-1669

Acadia

Type: Document

When restored to France in 1667, Acadia also benefited from King Louis XIV's policy of strengthening his colonies. Royal troops were sent to the colony, but were soon disbanded. When France declared war on the Netherlands in 1672, poorly defended Acadia suffered badly at the hands of Dutch privateers.

Site: National Defence

The West Indies First Priority

Type: Document

To strengthen France's colonies, troops from the royal army were sent overseas for the first time in 1664. The movement began with reinforcements for the West Indies.

Site: National Defence

Military Colonization

Type: Document

Louis XIV encouraged the officers and men of the Carignan-Salières regiment to settle in Canada after the treaty with the Iroquois was signed. Many took advantage of incentives, and the colony grew greatly in size. The success of the King's soldiers also encouraged emigration from France.

Site: National Defence

A "Royal" Garrison

Type: Document

From 1668 through the early 1680s, the French royal garrison declined in strength. As the French strength declined, the Iroquois began to think again of war, and the diplomatic skills of Count Frontenac were much needed to keep the peace. When conflict finally broke out in 1682, Governor de La Barre was very short of professional soldiers.

Site: National Defence

Marriage and Colonization

Type: Document

Soldiers who finished there term of enlistment were often encouraged to marry and settle in New France, to increase the population of the colony. These men were an important source of new colonists, and were given land to start farms.

Site: National Defence

Gathering the Troops

Type: Document

The Carignan-Salières regiment was brought up to strength with men from other French units before departing for Canada. Legend says that these men were veterans of fighting against the Ottoman Empire. The Carignan-Salières was one of the first French units to wear uniforms.

Site: National Defence

Nobles and Commoners

Type: Document

The French nobility wanted to forbid commoners positions as military officers. Louis XIV favoured competence above all else, but his successors gradually capitulated. The colonial forces were attractive to non-noble officers, since the nobility preferred to stay in France.

Site: National Defence

Recruitment

Type: Document

Most of the British army was recruited in Great Britain. By the mid-19th century, half of the men were English or Welsh, one third Irish and the remainder Scottish. Recruits were (in theory) volunteers signed up by a regimental recruiting party, and service was for life (until 1847).

Site: National Defence

A Regiment for Canada

Type: Document

Canada also received French royal troops for its defence - in fact it got the largest number of any colony. The 1000-strong Régiment Carignan-Salières arrived in 1665.

Site: National Defence

The Establishment of a Canadian Militia

Type: Document

In 1669, King Louis XIV ordered Governor de Courcelles to create a militia from the Canadian settlers. Governor Frontenac did much work after his appointment in 1672 to organize the institution in each parish within the colony.

Site: National Defence