The French in America

French in America

The French in America

This article on  the French in America provides facts and information about the French colonization of North America and the establishment of New France and Arcadia

  • French in America
  • The French explorers and the first colonists
  • Interesting facts and fast information about the French in America
  • New France and Arcadia
  • The French and Indian Wars
  • Educational resource for teachers and kids about the French in America
Spanish in AmericaBritish Colonies
American Colonies IndexExplorers & Discovery of America

History of the Famous Explorers and the Discovery of America

The discovery of America and the influence of the French in America

French in America
France was one of the 'super powers' in Europe during the Age of Exploration. England, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden were all looking to new lands, wealth and riches to build their empires and gain power. The European policies of
Colonialism and Imperialism were designed to extend a nation's authority, power and influence by territorial gain and by the establishment of economic and political dominance. The discovery of the 'New World' provided new lands and opportunities for France and the French in America.

French in America - The French Explorers
France sent explorers of America who undertook the 3000 mile journey from Europe to North America across perilous, unchartered seas. In 1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano led the first French expedition to America. Giovanni da Verrazzano explored the coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland, including New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay. He was closely followed in 1534 by Jacques Cartier who explored the coast from the Cape Fear River to Nova Scotia. Jacques Cartier visited the Gulf of St. Lawrence and sailed up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. Jean Ribault explored the Carolina coasts and Florida. Jean Ribault became a colonizer in the southeastern area of North America. In 1603 Samuel de Champlain set sail from France to Quebec. Samuel de Champlain was the Founder of Quebec City and known as 'The Father of Canada'. He discovered Lake Champlain on the border between present day northern New York and Vermont. In 1608 an expedition party under Samuel de Champlain made the first permanent settlement on the St. Lawrence River, at Quebec. These famous men reported their findings to France and many others followed them - the French colonization of the new continent of America had begun - the French called  the lands New France.

French in America - New France
The lands claimed by the French as 'New France' were located in the area of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. New France was divided into five colonies, each with its own administration. The five colonies of New France were Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland and Louisiana.

French in America - Arcadia
The New France colony of Arcadia comprised what is now New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and a part of Maine. It was settled by the French in the early years of the 1600's at Port Royal (now Annapolis, Nova Scotia), at Mount Desert Island, and on the St. Croix River.

French in America - Extension of the wars in Europe
The European countries attempting to colonize America allowed their dynastic wars in Europe to spill over to America.  The early colonists from Sweden had been ousted from America by the Dutch. Then Holland was ousted New Netherland was captured by the English. The next country to be ousted from North America would eventually be France. The struggle for the French lands in America were fought from 1688 to 1748, when the contest was for Acadia and New France and included the French and Indian Wars. The fight for New France and also Louisiana occurred during the period of the French Indian War from 1754 to 1763. The following map shows the land claims made by the French, British and Spanish, the boundary line of the lands of the Iroquois confederacy and the disputed areas of the New World in 1754.

1754 Map showing claims of Great Britain, France and Spain
     British Colonies
●    New France
      New Spain
    Disputed Areas

1754 Map showing claims of Great Britain, France and Spain in 1754

Facts about the French in America
The following Fact File contains fast information and facts about the French in America. The Facts about the French in America contains fast, interesting information about the attempts of France to colonize America which led to the inclusion of the French in America.

Timeline & Facts about the French in America
























French in America Fact 11608: After the settlement of Quebec the French began to explore the regions lying to the west, discovered the Great Lakes and informed about a great river which was called the the Mississippi
French in America Fact 21673: The explorers Marquette and Joliet explored the Mississippi river from the mouth of the Wisconsin to the mouth of the Arkansas
French in America Fact 31682: La Salle explored the Mississippi from the Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico and took formal possession of the lands in the name of the King of France, and called it Louisiana
French in America Fact 4Native Americans: The French were friendly and polite to the Native Indians whereas the English treated them as an inferior race
French in America Fact 5Native Americans: The Indian tribes of eastern North America were divided into three great groups: Muskogean, Iroquoian, and Algonquian.
French in America Fact 6French and Indian Wars: The French and Indian Wars (1688-1763) was a  series of battles between Great Britain and France and their Indian allies for the possession of North America
French in America Fact 7French and Indian Wars:  The first French and Indian Wars was called King William's War (1688-1699) was indecisive
French in America Fact 8French and Indian Wars:  The second war called Queen Anne's War (1702-1713) ended with the Treaty of Utrecht. The terms of the treaty resulted in the transfer of Acadia to England. Hudson Bay and Newfoundland was also transferred to the British
French in America Fact 9French Forts: Following the Treaty of Utrecht, the French began seriously to take possession of the Mississippi valley, and planned to build a chain of forts that would stretch from New Orleans and Mobile to Montreal
French in America Fact 10French and Indian Wars: King George's War (1744 - 1748) was indecisive but  interrupted French plans to build all of the forts
French in America Fact 111752:  The French began to build forts in the valleys of the Allegheny and Ohio to enable them to take armed possession of the lands
French in America Fact 12British reaction: The alarmed the governor of Virginia sent George Washington to tell the French leave the Allegheny valley. When they refused, British troops were sent to build a fort on the site of what is now Pittsburg but these men, under Trent and Ward, were driven away
French in America Fact 131754: The last of the French and Indian Wars started and was called the Seven Years War or the French Indian War (1754-1763).
French in America Fact 14French Indian War (1754-1763): Up to 1757 France dominated. There were failed British campaigns against Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry
French in America Fact 15French Indian War (1754-1763): In 1758 Britain increased support to its troops based in America and won victories at Louisbourg, Fort Frontenac in the Great Lakes region, and Fort Duquesne in Pittsburgh.
French in America Fact 16French Indian War (1754-1763): The final British victories at the Battle of Quebec in 1759 and the Battle of Montreal led to the demise of New France in 1760.
French in America Fact 171763: Peace was made at the Peace Treaty of Paris 1763 and nearly all the French possessions east of the Mississippi River were surrendered to the British. Canada, east of the Mississippi River, was added to the British empire.
French in America Fact 18The French abandon North America in 1763

Timeline & Facts about the French in America

French in America

  • Facts and information about France in America
  • History of France in America
  • Fast Facts and info about France in America
  • French in America and the Indian Wars - a great history resource for kids
  • Social Studies Homework help for kids on France in America

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