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Date > 1600 > 1660-1669 > 1665

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Command and Administration

Organization > 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

The Garrison Staff

Type: Document

The administrative centres of New France - Quebec, Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Louisbourg and New Orleans - each had a governor with a small staff of his own. This 'garrison staff' was responsible for the military administration of the town.

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

Officers' Incomes

Type: Document

Officers received very little income from their military rank - usually far less than the expenses the position demanded. As a result, some officers in New France without other income were very poor.

Site: National Defence

The Royal Navy

Type: Document

As an island state, Britain gave priority to its navy. The Admiralty (the appointed committee of admirals which made all strategic decisions) governed hundreds of ships worldwide. The Royal Navy used its bases in Canada to help control the Northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Site: National Defence

Navy Archers

Type: Document

Not to be confused with the archers of the Marechaussee, Navy archers were escorts, bodyguards and armed agents of the Intendant, the chief financial administrator of a French province or colony. They arrived in New France when the first Intendant was appointed in 1665.

Site: National Defence

The Governor General's Staff

Type: Document

The fact that the staff of the Governor General of New France was almost entirely military in nature shows how strong the military character of the colony was. The only administrative officer was the Intendant, whose financial area of responsibility had strong military significance.

Site: National Defence

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville

Type: Document

Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville (1661-1706), son of tactician Charles Le Moyne, was perhaps the greatest soldier New France ever produced. Between 1686 and 1706 he established himself as a master commander both on land and at sea. Also an explorer, he founded the first permanent settlement in Louisiana.

Site: National Defence

Nobles and Commoners

Type: Document

The French nobility wanted to forbid commoners positions as military officers. Louis XIV favoured competence above all else, but his successors gradually capitulated. The colonial forces were attractive to non-noble officers, since the nobility preferred to stay in France.

Site: National Defence

A Very Mixed Organization

Type: Document

Before 1854, the British army was governed by a complex series of overlapping bodies. Horse Guards (army headquarters) controlled most troops, but the civil Treasury ministry handled supplies, transportation and (in Canada) barracks through the Commissariat Department.

Site: National Defence