Discuss the French colonization of North America.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many things that could be said about the French colonization of North America.

Perhaps the most important thing to say is that the colonization was relatively light.  That is, the number of French who came to colonize North America was not nearly as high as the number of people in the English colonies to the south. 

Partly as a result of this, the French created what some historians call a “frontier of inclusion.”  This means that they included the Native Americans in their society.  In much of French North America, there were not enough French people to create societies that excluded the Indians.  This led to a fair degree of intermarriage.  This is something that the French had in common with the Spanish, but not with the English.

Another thing to note is that the French colonies were based largely on the fur trade.  The fur trade depended on good relations with the Native Americans.  Most of the furs were collected by natives and sold to the French.  This meant that the French typically had better relations with the Indians than the English did.

French colonization in North America was terminated by the English victory in the Seven Years’ War.  This drove the French out of what is now Canada.  

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