Arrival of the English

The English entered the fur trade when they founded the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1670. The traders’ rivalry matched the two nations’ rivalry for the continent. While the English settled from the coast westward, French explorers and trappers used rivers and lakes to penetrate the interior. LaSalle reached the mouth of the Mississippi in 1682, extending New France from the Great Lakes and the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico and blocking English expansion. Competition in Europe and America flared into violence periodically. England and France fought four wars from 1690 through 1763. After Queen Anne’s War, France lost Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Acadia but kept Cape Breton Island and the inland areas. In 1713, the French established Fortress Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island to protect the St. Lawrence entry to the empire and to prey on English shipping. The English took Louisbourg in 1745, but three years later, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which ended the War of Austrian Sucession, returned it to France, forcing the English to settle 2,500 colonists at Halifax as a counter. The final war, the French and Indian War (known as the Seven Years’ War in Europe), ended the existence of New France, shifting 60,000 Francophones to British rule in 1763. Britain’s stake in Canada dates to May 2, 1670, when King Charles II granted a charter to the Hudson’s Bay Company for sole trade and commerce (chiefly in furs) and ownership of all lands and territories drained by the waters that flowed into Hudson Bay. (Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada/Bridgeman Art Library) The British inherited the forts around the Great Lakes. Native Americans, including the Ottawa chief Pontiac, recognized that permanent English settlers were more of a menace than were transient couriers du bois (French trappers and explorers). Pontiac’s confederation forced the English out of all forts west of Lake Erie except Detroit in 1763. The English finally bested Pontiac’s forces in 1764, forcing the native leader to sign a peace treaty with the British in 1766. Within a few years of taking control of Quebec, England moved to establish administrative control with new acts and laws. In 1774, England’s Quebec Act set the colony’s boundary at the Ohio River Valley, established British criminal law, and recognized the Roman Catholic Church and French civil law, but it provided no elected assembly. Within a year, England’s rebellious Atlantic colonies, most notably, those of New England and the mid-Atlantic region, attempted to capture Quebec from the British. They took Montreal and then laid siege to the city of Quebec but retreated when a British fleet arrived. At that point, the colonies were engaged in a broader conflict, the American Revolution. Canada remained loyal to England, not achieving its independence until 1867. John H. Barnhill See also: Acadia, Nova Scotia; Acadians; Cabot, John; Cartier, Jacques; Champlain, Samuel de; French; French and Indian War; French Colonies on Mainland North America (Chronology); Furs; Great Lakes; Hudson, Henry; Huguenots; Huron; La Salle, Ren Robert Cavelier, Sieur de; Montreal; Newfoundland; Northwest Passage; Ottawa; Quebec Act (1774); Quebec City; St. Lawrence River; Documents: John Cabot’s Discovery of North America (1497); The French and the Fur Trade (1724); Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie (in 1755; pub. 1847). Bibliography Belton, Robert J. “Important Moments in Canadian History.” Eccles, W. J. The Canadian Frontier, 1534 1760. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974. Hudson’s Bay Company. “A Brief History of the Hudson’s Bay Company.” Hudson’s Bay Company. “Historic HBC,” Leeck, Beverly. “Oh Canada!” Morgan, Ted. Wilderness at Dawn: The Settling of the North American Continent. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994. Raddall, Thomas Head. The Path of Destiny: Canada from the British Conquest to Home Rule, 1763 1850. New York: Popular Library, 1957. Vittore Carpaccio. The Legend of St. Ursula: The Arrival of the … holidaymapq

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