A History of Canada - Vol. 2

By Gustave Lanctot; Margaret M. Cameron | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
LOUIS XIV PLACES CANADA UNDER
ROYAL ADMINISTRATION
1663-1713

A new colonial policy. Canada becomes a royal province. Mésy, Governor, and Gaudais-Dupont, Commissioner. Creation of the Sovereign Council: its administrative powers. Political powers of the Bishop: beginning of the theocracy. The councillors. Sale of intoxicating liquor to the Indians. Mayor and syndics. Budget of the colony. Regulation of trade and commerce. Emigration. Creation of courts of justice.

With the year 1663, there opens the second period of the history of Canada, the period of colonization. After a half-century of existence under the régime of the trading companies, New France still had only 2,500 inhabitants. Grouped around three small establishments, Quebec, Three Rivers and Montreal, the colonists lived under constant threat of being driven out of the country by the relentless Iroquois wars. 1

Louis XIV was deeply distressed by the gravity of the situation, and in March 1663 he issued an edict which withdrew from the Company of One Hundred Associates its ownership of the country and its trade monopoly, and brought the colony under royal administration. This decision was directly related to a new policy for the mother country.

Mazarin had disappeared from the scene in 1661, leaving a France at peace with Europe. In the same year Nicolas Fouquet, the Minister of Finance, who had lived in almost royal magnificence, was charged with malversation and, after a long trial terminating in his conviction, sentenced to end his days in the prison fortress of Pignerol. With the death of Mazarin and the arrest of Fouquet, the way lay open for a new start.

After Mazarin's death, when his ministers asked him to whom

-3-

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