Canadian Military History Gateway
Date > 1600 > 1640-1649 > 1640
Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts
Artillery installed in the early forts defending the towns of New France was usually mounted on this type of carriage. A gunner is shown clearing the vent with a thin spike. The forked pike carried by one of the gunners was used to hold a slow match to ignite the powder in the gun's vent. This caused the ignition of the powder charge in the barrel and the firing of the cannonball.
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.
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.
Wherever they were from, soldiers would often be found playing cards, whether in an inn as shown, or in the field using a drum as a card table. Gambling was often part of the game. Soldiers in Canada were no different than anywhere else although they would not have worn the boots with spurs seen in this illustration of soldiers in France.
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.
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.
In the 17th century, an increasing majority of soldiers were armed with firearms. These French troops of the 1640s have matchlock muskets.