New France: 1600-1763, Development of the Colony
hereditary aristocracy, dowries, intendant, French colonies, natural increase
In 1663, when New France still had barely 3,000 people, Louis XIVís finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert abolished the One Hundred Associates, ending the era of company rule. Thenceforth, New France was a royal province ruled from Quebec by a governor-general, who commanded the military forces and symbolized royal authority. In addition, an intendant oversaw colonial finances, justice, and daily administration. Both officials reported to the Minister of Marine in the kingís court, since all French colonies were administered by the naval department. An appointed Superior Council advised the governor and acted as a supreme court, but there were no elective bodies in the government of New France.
With royal support, the defenses of New France were improved. The Carignan-Salieres regiment, a veteran military force of 1,200, arrived in 1665 and waged a campaign against the Iroquois. This campaign led to a peace settlement with the Iroquois. About 400 members of the Carignan-Salieres regiment stayed on in Canada as settlers. During the first decade of royal rule, the monarchy also subsidized immigration from France, notably of some 700 unmarried women, who were later called filles du roi (daughters of the king) because the king paid for their transportation and dowries. Their arrival helped balance the male-female ratio, which had been overwhelmingly male. Thereafter immigration from France was slight; the 10,000 settlers reported on the 1681 census became, by natural increase, the ancestors of almost all the 6.3 million French-speaking Canadians of the late 20th century.
Soon after the peace settlement with the Iroquois, New France acquired a permanent garrison of colonial troops. Soldiers for the colony came from France, but they were commanded by what became a hereditary aristocracy in New France. Military officers explored new territory, built forts, and participated in diplomacy, trade, and warfare with the indigenous peoples.
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