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Organization > National Defence

Subject > Politics and Society

Date > 1600 > 1650-1659

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

Another Round Of Iroquois Wars

Type: Document

The Iroquois pressed their advantage, raiding and spreading fear among the colonists. A French attempt to force a pitched battle was unsuccessful.

Site: National Defence

Iroquois warriors lurking near French settlements during the 1650s

Type: Image

Until the 1660s, especially in the Montreal area, no one in the French settlements really felt quite safe from surprise attacks by hostile Iroquois warriors. Many Canadian settlers, including women, learned to handle firearms during the 1650s.

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

New France Expands

Type: Document

A series of journeys by French explorers into the interior of North America was followed by the growth of a strong French presence in Louisiana and Illinois. A strong military presence administered and oversaw the new regions.

Site: National Defence

Guerrilla Warfare In The Heart Of The French Colony

Type: Document

With Huronia destroyed and Fort Richelieu burnt, the centre of the French colony started to suffer badly from Iroquois raids. Attempts to strengthen the garrison, and also to found a mission among the Iroquois were failures.

Site: National Defence

Soldier of the Company of the Hundred Associates in Canada, circa 1650

Type: Image

This employee of the Hundred Associates carries a flintlock musket (or 'fusil'), a type of weapon that first appeared in the colony during the late 1640s. The fusil was lighter than the older matchlock musket and its firing system was more trustworthy. This made it an ideal weapon for Canada. The Iroquois' acquisition of firearms changed the military tactics in New France. Helmets and breastplates became useless, and French soldiers simply wore their usual clothing. This man's clothing follows contemporary civilian fashions in France. Hanging from a belt around his chest, our soldier carries individual charges of gunpowder in flasks jokingly known as 'the Twelve Apostles'. Reconstruction by Michel Pétard. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

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

A Spanish Ocean

Type: Document

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the European wars that had touched the eastern coasts of North and South America left the Pacific untroubled. From the European point of view, the region was largely unexplored, despite being bordered by Spanish colonies.

Site: National Defence

Placentia, Newfoundland

Type: Document

Both Great Britain (in 1651 at St. John's) and France (in 1660 at Placentia) established naval bases in Newfoundland to support their fishing fleets on the Grand Banks. The French garrison mutinied, and the base was virtually ungarrisoned until 1687.

Site: National Defence