Canadian Military History Gateway
Date > 1600 > 1600-1609
Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts
When Champlain took part in a 1609 Huron expedition against the Iroquois, he began a contest between two ways of warfare that lasted centuries. The combination of armour and firearms was rapidly understood and used to advantage by early French soldiers in Canada. By contrast, the Amerindians evolved furtive tactics and rapid movements which eventually proved to be the best in a wilderness environment.
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.
Unlike the Spanish Central America, Europeans were unable to successfully colonize North America in the 16th Century. Amerindian guerrilla tactics combined with a cold and hostile land to frustrate the newcomers. Nevertheless, North America became a theatre of war for European conflicts.
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.
Many European expeditions were sent to explore North America during the sixteenth century. The explorers were armed, and their ocean-going ships were a revolutionary technology.
The soldiers accompanying early expeditions worked for private businesses, not for the state. Many were veterans of European wars, or gentlemen seeking land or gold.
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.
St. Croix Island, site of Samuel de Champlain and Pierre de Mont’s first settlement in the summer of 1604.