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Subject > Politics and Society > Social Conscience and Activism

Date > 1600

A New Balance of Power?

Type: Document

With more troops available, new tactics could be used to defend Canada. Strong garrisons for the towns and new forts to block Iroquois attacks along the Richelieu River were created.

Site: National Defence

Hospitals

Type: Document

Hospitals in New France were founded and maintained by religious orders of the Roman Catholic church. The cost of the institutions was borne by the state, in return for which officers, soldiers and sailors received free care, food and medicine.

Site: National Defence

Officers Make a Difference

Type: Document

The officers of the Compagnies franches de la Marine made an important impact in the colony. The high proportion of officers in the companies allowed the sons of local gentlemen a military role, first as cadets and later as officers.

Site: National Defence

Retirement

Type: Document

Prior to 1712, discharged soldiers had no sort of pension to fall back upon when they left the military. They were forced to beg, or rely on religious charity if they were unable to earn their living.

Site: National Defence

A Different Situation in Acadia

Type: Document

The population of Acadia was not militarized in the way French colonists in Canada were. Relations with the local Amerindians were good, while internal social conflict and long periods of English occupation discouraged the development of a strong militia.

Site: National Defence

The Governor General's Staff

Type: Document

The fact that the staff of the Governor General of New France was almost entirely military in nature shows how strong the military character of the colony was. The only administrative officer was the Intendant, whose financial area of responsibility had strong military significance.

Site: National Defence

Irregular Soldiers And Hardened Voyageurs

Type: Document

French colonists in Canada were skilled at shooting and using canoes and snowshoes to travel great distances. These skills were useful for mounting military raids. The Canadians were reluctant to fight in the militia during the 1670s, but became more enthusiastic when war with the Iroquois resumed.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Militiamen

Type: Document

Participation of Canadian militiamen in raids was voluntary. Montrealers were particularly enthusiastic. Volunteers were not paid, but instead given a share of the booty or profits. On large-scale campaigns, with less chance of profit, issues of clothing and equipment were given.

Site: National Defence

Chaplains

Type: Document

Religion was very important in the society of New France, and this was true amongst the military also. The Recollect order of Franciscan monks acted as military chaplains in the colony. These men held Mass, herd confessions and administered last rites as needed.

Site: National Defence

The Establishment of a Canadian Militia

Type: Document

In 1669, King Louis XIV ordered Governor de Courcelles to create a militia from the Canadian settlers. Governor Frontenac did much work after his appointment in 1672 to organize the institution in each parish within the colony.

Site: National Defence