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Date > 1600 > 1680-1689

Subject > Politics and Society > Industry and Commerce

A New Monetary System

Type: Document

Official currency in France and its colonies consisted of 'livres' (pounds), 'sous' (shillings) and 'deniers' (pence), but the shortage of coins led to common use of Spanish silver pieces in New France. The first recorded use of paper money in the modern sense was also in New France.

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

A Garrison at Placentia

Type: Document

A small garrison of Troupes de la Marine arrived in Newfoundland in 1687, where fortifications were gradually established. The garrison suffered from desertion, and was attacked by pirates, English privateers and the English Royal Navy.

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

Western Posts and the Fur Trade

Type: Document

The commanders of the small western forts were allowed to take part in the fur trade, as a bonus for accepting such remote postings. Gradually, over the decades, officers withdrew from direct involvement, preferring to sell the rights to merchants for fixed payments.

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

History of Cape Merry

Type: Document

Cape Merry was once called Knight's Round Point. James Knight sailed into the mouth of the Churchill River to begin construction of a fur trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1717. The cape was later renamed to honour Captain John Merry, who was the Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1712-18. This page describes the construction of the fort and its cannon battery.

Site: Parks Canada

Canadian Campaigns

Type: Document

Governor La Barre was able to lead an expedition against the Iroquois in 1684, but he quickly signed a peace treaty. This unimpressive move forced the next governor, the Marquis de Denonville, to attack again in 1687, this time burning Iroquois villages and crops after a battle.

Site: National Defence

The Military Shift Westwards

Type: Document

By the end of the 17th Century, Montreal had replaced Quebec as the military centre of Canada. At the hub of several inland waterways, it became the centre of a military expansion west and south. A series of forts were built on the Great Lakes to protect French interests.

Site: National Defence

Life in Forts and Trading Posts

Type: Document

Outside the St. Lawrence Valley, in the more distant forts and trading posts, the accommodations of the soldiers could be very rudimentary. The situation improved over the years, however, especially in the larger forts built in the eighteenth century.

Site: National Defence