Canada (New France)

The colony of Canada was a French colony within the larger territory of New France. It was claimed by France in 1535 during the second voyage of Jacques Cartier, when the land was claimed in the name of the French king, Francis I. Canada remained a French territory until 1763, when it became a British colony known as the Province of Quebec.[4][5][6][7]

The Royal Banner of early modern France or "Bourbon Flag" was the most commonly used flag in New France[1][2][3]
The lesser coat of arms of France
as used by the Government
Map of Canada after 1713. At its fullest extent, Canada extended from south of the Great Lakes to the Gulf of St Lawrence.
StatusColony of France within New France
Common languagesFrench
Roman Catholicism
 French territorial possession
 Founding of Quebec
 Founding of Trois-Rivières
 Founding of Montreal
CurrencyNew France livre
ISO 3166 codeCA
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Aboriginal peoples in Canada
Province of Quebec (1763–1791)
Today part ofCanada (part of Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan)
United States (part of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota)

In the 16th century, the word "Canada" referred to the territory along the Saint Lawrence River[8] (then known as the Canada River) from Grosse Isle to a point between Québec and Trois-Rivières.[9] The terms "Canada" and "New France" were also used interchangeably. [10] French explorations continued west "unto the Countreys of Canada, Hochelaga, and Saguenay"[11] before any permanent settlements were established. In 1600, a permanent trading post and habitation had been established at Tadoussac at the confluence of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers. However, because this trading post was under a trade monopoly, it was not constituted as an official French colonial settlement.

The first official settlement of Canada was Québec, founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608.[12][13] The other four colonies within New France were Hudson's Bay to the north, Acadia and Newfoundland to the east, and Louisiana far to the south.[14][15] Canada was the most developed of the five colonies of New France. It was divided into three districts, Québec, Trois-Rivières, and Montreal, each with its own government. The governor of the District of Quebec also served as the governor-general for all of New France.[15]

The Seven Years' War saw Great Britain defeat the French and their allies, and take possession of Canada. In the Treaty of Paris of 1763, which formally ended the Seven Years' War, France ceded Canada in exchange for other colonies, with a large portion of Canada becoming the British colony of the Province of Quebec.[16]