During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the British and the French were eagerly colonizing parts of the North American and the Caribbean. However, they went about it very differently.
In the 1600s, the English had growing concerns of overpopulation at home. Therefore, they saw the New World as a place to send dissidents, the poor, and economic adventurers. By 1700, there were as many as 250,000 English colonists in America. They set about creating their own English society in the New World. To accomplish this, colonies were granted charters, allowed to set up their own local governments, and built numerous settlements, towns, and cities. They even encouraged other Europeans to settle in their colonies and become citizens of the English Empire. Furthermore, many Native Americans were pushed aside to make room for this type of settlement.
The French, on the other hand, never intended to send that many of their citizens to the Americas. For them, their colonies were seen more as a source of wealth than a source of living space. This led them to establish successful trading partnerships with numerous native peoples. There were fewer incentives to claim and cultivate land because French policy was that the land all belonged to the French crown. Overall, the French land policy remained rather feudalistic. As a result, very few French colonists came to the New World. There were some attempts to change this, but by 1760 British colonists in the Americas outnumbered the French twenty-to-one. This made it very difficult to compete with the English. By the early-nineteenth century, France had lost most of its colonial holdings in the western hemisphere to the English and other more populous powers.