Callières succeeds to the governorship of New France. His peace with the Iroquois highlighted by the death of the Rat. Founding of Detroit by Cadillac. His unhappy appointment to the governorship of Louisiana. His conflict with the crafty Scotsman, John Law, and the challenge to the Mississippi Company. Cadillac's disgrace. His ultimate Justification and his unhappy death.
History has amply sustained the chastening judgment that no man is indispensable. Experience, however, has added the qualification that the passing of a man of force must leave an interlude of uncertainty and speculation.
In our own time the passing of Stalin, then head of the Soviet state, posed a world of questions. Who would succeed? How would the successor measure up to the man he replaced? Would new political policies emerge as a result? Would these mean a growing or a lessening threat? Until such questions and a mutlitude of others were answered or forgotten, there remained the suggestion of "time out," for reorganization. Time out, too, for developing new strategy to meet such changes.
The Peace of Ryswick, which had settled more disagreements in Europe and had done almost nothing to resolve any of the existing problems of the New World, provided this breathing space. It was an interlude in which it was possible to reassess existing policies; an interlude during which some more pressing problems might hope to find an answer.
On the death of Frontenac, Callières, the governor of Montreal, promptly moved to Quebec and assumed the larger post of governor of New France. There did not seem to be anyone anxious or able to dispute this assumption of office, and the King soon sustained it. That is not to say, however, that the appointment was unanimously approved. It was