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Date > 1600 > 1630-1639

Subject > Armed Forces

Organization > National Defence

Canada's First Warriors

Type: Interactive ResourceDocument

A slide show presentation of Native American dress from the 16th to mid-18th century.

Site: National Defence

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

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

A Commemorative History of Aboriginal People in the Canadian Military

Type: Document

This history on our Aboriginal Peoples and their contribution to Canada’s rich military heritage is the latest in a series of books prepared by the Director of History and Heritage commemorating especial military experience. Authors : P. Whitney Lackenbauer, Ph.D., R. Scott Sheffield, Ph.D., John Moses, Maxime Gohier

Site: National Defence

The White Flag As A Battle Flag

Type: Document

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.

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

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

Punishment For Desertion

Type: Document

The penalty for desertion was either death or being sentenced to the galleys. Official policy varied from one to the other several times between 1635 and 1760. In some cases, however, clemency was shown, and the culprits returned to their units.

Site: National Defence

A Different Model

Type: Document

During the 18th century, the British colonies in what is now Atlantic Canada were very different from their counterparts further south in New England. The northern colonies had a strong military presence, relatively small civilian populations, and no strong militia.

Site: National Defence