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Organization > National Defence

Subject > Politics and Society

Date > 1600 > 1630-1639

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

French soldiers of the early 17th century

Type: Image

These French soldiers wear a style of clothing common through much of Western Europe in the early seventeenth century. Note the musket rest carried by the man at left, and the pike carried by the man in the background. Mid-19th century engraving after a drawing by Alfred de Marbot.

Site: National Defence

French pikeman, circa 1635

Type: Image

Pikemen’s armour and pikes were sent to Quebec during the 1620s. The armour appears to have been worn by some soldiers until the later 1630s although it seems the pikes were hardly ever used. In Europe, pikemen were still seen in battlefields, albeit in decreasing numbers, right until the end of the 17th century. In America, pikes or halberds might have been used by a few ceremonial guards and sergeants but were not otherwise carried.

Site: National Defence

Records of the 4th International Colloquy on Military History (Ottawa 23.25 VIII 1978) Date of Publication: 1979

Type: Document

Introduction by W.A.B. Douglas, Director Directorate of History, Program Chairman. Articles in a variety of languages including: English, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Russian, Greek.

Site: National Defence

Training begins for the Massachusetts militia, 1637

Type: Image

When the colony of Massachusetts formed militia regiments in 1637, the new militiamen imitated European organization and tactics as closely as possible. This was a complete contrast with the militiamen in New France. Reconstruction by Don Troiani. (United States National Guard)

Site: National Defence

Worsening Relations with the Iroquois

Type: Document

Under Governor Montmagny, relations with the Iroquois soured further. Outright war broke out in 1641.

Site: National Defence

Model of the second habitation at Quebec, circa 1625

Type: Image

Construction of this building started in May 1624. The model shows the stone structure with its two corner turrets as it was circa 1625. The habitation was abandoned in 1633 following a fire.

Site: National Defence

Quebec

Type: Document

A second colony at Quebec, led by Champlain, saw much struggle. It changed hands, first to the English, then to a new French trading company. Attempts were made to fortify and strengthen the settlement.

Site: National Defence

A Different Situation in Acadia

Type: Document

The population of Acadia was not militarized in the way French colonists in Canada were. Relations with the local Amerindians were good, while internal social conflict and long periods of English occupation discouraged the development of a strong militia.

Site: National Defence

French officer, circa 1635

Type: Image

Military men such as this French officer of circa 1635 wore civilian clothes. The arms they carried denoted their ‘profession of arms’. Early probate records show that soldiers in New France did the same and wore civilian clothes while carrying arms and military equipment. Officers in Canada were usually armed with swords and pistols.

Site: National Defence