An Economic History of Canada

By Mary Quayle Innis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE COLLAPSE OF THE FRENCH EMPIRE, 1713-1763

Louisburg, 25 8bre, 1743

La vente des battiments anglais est nécessaire dans la colonie, . . . les années dernières pour procurer le debouché aux cargaisons (molasses) qui viennent des isles (West Indies), ce commerce soutent seul la colonie.1

Québec, May 12, 1738

Le plus grand nombre des habitants particulièrement ceux de la coste du sud manquent de pain depuis longtemps et une grande partie ont erré pendant tout l'hyver dans les costes du nord qui ont esté moins maltraitées pour y recueillir des aumones et quelque peu de bled pour semer.2

For these nations go the more readily to the English, as they obtain goods much cheaper, and as much rum as they please, from them.3

I [La Verendrye] . . . recommended him to encourage these people to hunt well, to bring provisions to the French forts, and to keep their word not to go to the English.4


ACADIA

New England had built up a flourishing trade with the West Indies which expanded with the growth of sugar production and the slave trade. Molasses secured from the West Indies in exchange for refuse grades of codfish was made into rum and sent to Guinea in exchange for slaves, to Newfoundland, to the southern colonies and to the Indians in exchange for furs.

But as sugar production increased in the British West Indies, the soil became exhausted and slave prices rose as the French West Indies, entering upon sugar growing with fertile soil, competed for slave labour. Sugar prices fell with the coming in of French sugar and the New England colonies began to buy the cheaper

____________________
1
Canadian Archives, C11 B, XXV, 15.
2
Canadian Archives, C11 A, LXIX, 192.
3
Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, IX, 949.
4
South Dakota Historical Collections, VII, pp. 326 ff.

-31-

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