Canadian Military History Gateway
Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts
Date > 1600 > 1630-1639
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eventually war erupted in North America between competing English and French colonies during the 17th century. In 1713, France ceded much of Acadia (now New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) to Britain and abandoned its claims to Newfoundland. They retained control of Cape Breton, where they built the fortress of Louisburg to protect their fishing and shipping interests.
Canadian War Museum
A list of the most important military engagements, both inside and outside Canada, that had an effect on the country.
Under Governor Montmagny, relations with the Iroquois soured further. Outright war broke out in 1641.
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.
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.
With origins in the Wars of Religion of the early seventeenth century, an all white flag symbolized France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was flown over military outposts and from ships' masts throughout the existence of the colony of New France.