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Date > 1600 > 1660-1669 > 1665

Subject > Politics and Society > Industry and Commerce

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

Conflicting Strategic Interests

Type: Document

French strategy in Acadia and Newfoundland centred around controlling access to the St. Lawrence River. Competition with Britain and her American colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries led to the fortification and garrisoning of the region.

Site: National Defence

One Big Family

Type: Document

There was a close liaison between the officers and the commercial class in New France. Marriage alliances cemented families together, and a kind of colonial military caste began to form in the colony in the eighteenth century.

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

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

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

Placentia, Newfoundland

Type: Document

Both Great Britain (in 1651 at St. John's) and France (in 1660 at Placentia) established naval bases in Newfoundland to support their fishing fleets on the Grand Banks. The French garrison mutinied, and the base was virtually ungarrisoned until 1687.

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