Michigan history

Michigan history

The New Acadia



French Exploration in the New World


The mixed motivations and changing plans of French explorers, settlers, and missionaries in the New World, including the Great Lakes region.

Political, Economic, and Social legacies of French activity in the Great Lakes region.

Provide a reference point for understanding British and later American interests in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.





Exploring a Land without Borders

The driving impulse of French activity in the New World was finding a short-cut to the Orient and discovering precious metals.

English settlers were hedged onto the East Coast by the Appalachians, but the French found easy passage into the West by highways of lakes and rivers.





Exploring a Land without Borders

Jacque Cartier began searching for the “Northwest Passage” in the 1500s, and was encouraged by word a great river to the West.

The Treaty of Tordesillas in 1493 divided the New World between the Portuguese and the Spanish (for conversion purposes); French explorers would have to find a creative way to secure financial backing and political will to go on their voyages and expeditions.





Exploring a land without borders

Iroquois Indians

Stadacona (Quebec)

Chief Donnacona

Little interest raised at home for exploration abroad.





French Settlers and Explorers

Samuel de Champlain (early 1600s)

Father of New France

First French permanent settlement – Port Royal

Returned to Stadacona

Began systematically exploring North American interior

Allied with the Huron, natural enemies of the Iroquois, to secure a geographic foothold.





French Settlers and Explorers


Jesuit order – a catholic religious order founded by Saint Ingantius Loyola.

Worked among Huron, viewed with suspicion by Iroquois

Jean de Brébeuf – Martyr

Pere Marquette – fascinated by the “Great River”






French Settlers and Explorers

Jean Baptiste Colbert (late 1600s) – French Minister of King sought to implement French mercantile policy.

Imperial competition: French answers to the British “triangular” trade.

Trade monopolies fund expensive expeditions and defence

Jean Talon – Create and expand permanent settlements in New France that is economically self-sufficient.






French Settlers and Explorers

Seigneurial system – importing the French class structure.

Population increase slow…reaching 76,000 by 1750.

Settle or explore – the promise and perils of the fur trade.

Despite Colbert’s policy, French officials kept searching for a passage West.





French Settlers and Explorers

Rene Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (mid 1600s)

Seigneurial landowners with a a desire to explore.

Believed the Mississippi River led to Gulf of Mexico and that control of the mouth would secure French possession of North America.

Efforts supported by Comte de Frontenac

Establishment of Fort Frontenac and journeys West opposed by Colbert.

La Salle discovers mouth of Mississippi in 1682.





French Settlers and Explorers

Antoine Laumet, Sieur de Cadillac

Appointed by Frontenac to secure water passages around present-day Michigan.

Established Fort Ponchartrain in present-day Detroit in 1701.

The Fort was a short-lived experiment that ended with Cadillac’s departure in 1710 in the face of government opposition.




Exploring a land without borders

NB: We do not resell papers. Upon ordering, we do an original paper exclusively for you.

Do you need a similar assignment done from scratch? We have qualified writers to help you. We assure you an A+ quality paper that is free from plagiarism. Order now for an Amazing Discount! Use Discount Code "save15" for a 15% Discount!

Request essay help

You can trust us for this and even for your future projects