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Viceroyalty of New France

Vice-royauté de Nouvelle-France
1534–1763
Flag of New France
Flag from 1663
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Coat of arms
New France (orthographic projection).svg
Status French Province
Capital Quebec
Common languages French
Religion
Roman Catholicism
Government Monarchy
• 1663–1715
King Louis XIV
• 1715–1763
King Louis XV
Legislature Sovereign Council of New France
History  
• Royal Control
1663
• Articles of Capitulation of Quebec
1759
• Articles of Capitulation of Montreal
1760
February 10 (1763) 1763
Currency New France livre
Succeeded by
Province of Quebec (1763–1791)
Nova Scotia
Rupert's Land
Newfoundland (island)
Louisiana (New Spain)
Today part of  Canada
 United States
 France (Saint Pierre and Miquelon)

New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris (1763).

At its peak in 1712 (before the Treaty of Utrecht), the territory of New France, also sometimes known as the French North American Empire or Royal New France, consisted of five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, the most developed colony and divided into the districts Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal (before 1717, extending south through the Illinois Country); Hudson's Bay; Acadie, in the northeast; Plaisance, on the island of Newfoundland, and Louisiane. (after 1717, extending north through the Illinois Country); Thus, it extended from Newfoundland to the Canadian prairies and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, including all the Great Lakes of North America.

In the sixteenth century, the lands were used primarily to draw from the wealth of natural resources such as furs through trade with the various indigenous peoples. In the seventeenth century, successful settlements began in Acadia, and in Quebec by the efforts of Champlain. By 1765, the population of the new Province of Quebec reached approximately 70,000 settlers.

The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht resulted in France relinquishing its claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland to England. France established the colony of Île Royale, now called Cape Breton Island, where they built the Fortress of Louisbourg.

Acadia had a difficult history, with the British causing the Great Upheaval with the forced expulsion of the Acadians in the period from 1755 to 1764. This has been remembered on July 28 each year since 2003. Their descendants are dispersed in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and in Maine and Louisiana in the United States, with small populations in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia and the Magdalen Islands. Some also went to France.

In 1763, France had ceded the rest of New France, except the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, to Great Britain and Spain at the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years' War (known as the French and Indian War in North America and especially the United States). Britain received Canada, Acadia, and the parts of French Louisiana which lay east of the Mississippi River – except for the Île d'Orléans, which was granted to Spain, along with the territory to the west – the larger portion of Louisiana.

In 1800, Spain returned its portion of Louisiana to France under the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso. However, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte in turn sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, permanently ending French colonial efforts on the North American mainland.

New France eventually became absorbed within the United States and Canada, with the only vestige remaining under French rule being the tiny islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

In the United States, the legacy of New France includes numerous placenames as well as small pockets of French-speaking communities. In Canada, institutional bilingualism and strong Francophone identities are arguably the most enduring legacy of New France.

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