Depending on where they were located, there were similarities and differences between the French and British colonies up until the mid-eighteenth century.
The similarities could be seen in French and British colonial interests in India. Both nations handed over colonial development in India to corporations. There were both French and British East India companies, and both organizations functioned relatively free of direct state control. These colonies were essentially corporations, administered only loosely by their respective national governments.
Differences in French and British approaches to colonization were stark in North America. In this context, one sees important contrasts. The colony of New France was heavily influenced by state involvement, and colonization was pushed by the French crown. The success of the colony was a matter of national pride. These colonies were also motivated by a missionary impulse and saw major involvement on the part of the Catholic Church.
In contrast, the British colonies in North America were largely settled by those who were fleeing state influence, often for religious reasons. These dissenters, like the Pilgrims who settled the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1620, were motivated by a desire for independence and a separation from the British crown right from the beginning.
As a result of conflicts in the mid-eighteenth century between the French and British, especially in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), the French actually lost control of most of their colonial holdings in North America and the East.