At the time, New France was run more like a business than a colony. Men were sent there to work and trading posts were opened for the fur trade, but virtually no one made New France their permanent home. There were almost no authorities there, only a few seigneurs. Decisions about the colony were made unilaterally or entirely by the king.  

A trading colony

In 1627, the king of France entrusted the colony to the Compagnie des Cent-Associés (the company of the hundred associates). In exchange for having a monopoly over the fur trade, the company was responsible for running and expanding the colony. It had to bring over 4 000 colonists to New France within 15 years and help them settle there. Business was not very good for the Compagnie des Cent-Associés, however, and few people came to settle in New France. In 1663, the king took direct control of the colony.

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Who defended the colony?

In 1645, France left only a very small number of soldiers in the colony. If New France was attacked, the habitants had to defend it themselves because the army was not sufficiently organized.


Author: Alexandre Lanoix

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