Canadian Military History Gateway
Date > 1600 > 1660-1669 > 1665
Subject > Politics and Society > Life on the Homefront
The addition of 1,200 new Frenchmen to a colony of only 3,200 made a big impact on the community. The Régiment Carignan-Salières was quickly deployed to fortifications along the Richelieu River.
Until the 1660s, especially in the Montreal area, no one in the French settlements really felt quite safe from surprise attacks by hostile Iroquois warriors. Many Canadian settlers, including women, learned to handle firearms during the 1650s.
Because of the constant Iroquois surprise attacks on settlers at Montreal between 1660 and 1665, the nursing nuns at the hospital also kept a lookout and would ring their bell to give the alarm whenever they spotted something suspicious.
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.
Soldiers who finished there term of enlistment were often encouraged to marry and settle in New France, to increase the population of the colony. These men were an important source of new colonists, and were given land to start farms.