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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 15: The French Explorers



The French Explorers

France in the 1500s

  • The Spanish voyages inspired other countries to also explore the New World

  • The French believed that there was a water route through North America to Asia

  • This believed water route was called "The Northwest Passage"

  • France decided that while the Spanish were sailing South, they would sail north

France's Explorations

  • France ended up exploring areas of Canada

  • Today much of Canada speaks French as a result of these French explorations and colonies

Jacques Cartier

  • In 1534 Cartier sailed North West looking for the Northwest passage

He sailed along the St. Lawrence River in Canada and he claimed the land along side it

The French named the land along the St. Lawrence River "Canada" It was named after the Huron word meaning kanata which actually means "village"

The French colonized this area and later they called it "New France"

The French Colonies

  • The French began to Fur trade with the Native Americans

  • The Fur trade soon brought wealth to France

  • Europeans loved the fur coats that the French created

  • There were numerous Fur bearing creatures in Canada

Samuel de Champlain

  • 1608 Champlain explored Canada and he founded a trading post called Quebec on the St. Lawrence River

  • Quebec became the first permanent French settlement in North America

  • Champlain made friends with the Huron Native Americans in the area that is now Quebe

  • He learned to speak their language and their ways----He knew that France needed friendly trading partners

French Missionaries

  • The French brought missionaries over to convert the Huron Indians to Catholicism

  • 1609 The Huron asked the French to help them fight against their enemies, The Iroquois and in return they would florish the French fur trading business

  • The French kept their word and helped the Huron to defeat the Iroquois-and France prospered in Fur trade

France's conditions on colonists

  • To settle in New France or Canada you had to be Catholic

  • You could not own land

  • Canada is cold and so farming would be difficult

  • So because of these issues there were only about 3000 French people living in Canada in the 1600s

Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet

  • Marquette was a Catholic priest and missionary who longed to find the Northwest Passage

  • He had settled into Michigan and he heard about a mighty western river to the West

  • Marquette decided to explore it-he took a fur trader named Jolliet with him---they discovered it was the Mississippi River and that it flowed South instead of West and they turned back to Canada

The French

  • Even though the French never found a Northwest passage, they still were able to settle and colonize many places in Canada and they became wealthy through the fur trade