European Colonization of North America

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Why did very few French colonists move to New France?

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New France was a very large area that would always be sparsely populated. Much of it was in the interior of North America—this would make it very hard to resupply or to defend in the case of invasion. There was also the worry of attacks by Native Americans. While French...

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New France was a very large area that would always be sparsely populated. Much of it was in the interior of North America—this would make it very hard to resupply or to defend in the case of invasion. There was also the worry of attacks by Native Americans. While French priests traditionally treated the natives with more respect, and French traders were likely to marry into a tribe, there were still incidences of bloodshed between the two groups.

Many in France at the time simply did not want to go. The country was large and quite successful. Taxation was onerous, but the people who could afford to go to the New World found ways around the French inefficient tax system. The country had some religious dissenters, but they were few compared to Britain, a country that experienced a great deal of the Protestant Reformation's early splinter groups. France controlled a great deal of territory on a map, but it was not able to successfully export people to this new territory. This would ultimately lead to France losing most of its North American holdings after the Seven Years' War.

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