A History of Canada: Volume One: From its Origins to the Royal Regime, 1663 - Vol. 1

By Gustave Lanctot; Josephine Hambleton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE
A REVIEW (Conclusion)

The Company of New France. In spite of Richelieu's errors, the company establishes the colony. The Community of Habitants. Theocratic control by the Jesuits. Failure to Frenchify the natives. Partial success of the missions. The remarkable achievements of the Jesuits and the Society of Montreal. Iroquois guerrilla warfare. The exploration of the country. Immigration insufficient. Huguenots excluded. Royal inertia. The great work and heroism of the settlers.

As the small Laurentian colony gradually took root in the North American environment, the company that was its creator sank into oblivion. The Company of New France, losing its property by royal decree in 1663, attempted to secure compensation for the colossal expenses incurred in founding the colony, but in vain.1 The indifference of the Crown to their financial losses seemed most unfair, for the very next year, when the West Indies Company was set up, Louis XIV stipulated that the owners of the West Indian islands must be compensated for the investments they had poured into those colonies.2 By the terms of his own decree issued in March 1645, the King, acting through the Council, recognized that the One Hundred Associates had already contributed the grand total of 1,200,000 livres towards the colonization of Canada.3 Moreover, His Majesty himself gave his "royal promise they would be repaid their advances" in 1663, at the very time the Crown took over the colony.4 Successive memoranda availed nothing. Twenty- four years passed before these promises were made good, and even then the recompense proved paltry and quite unjust. The monarch calculated that some associates had surrendered their shares for three or four hundred livres each and their number had fallen to nineteen; this arithmetic opened his way to

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