History of Quebec and Canada/Study Guide/Topic 1: Factors Affecting Settlement

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Which factors affected the first settlements of New France?

Economic Factors

It was the fur trade which first attracted the French to the St. Lawrence River Valley. Champlain founded the first permanent settlement at Québec in 1608 to establish a fur trade network with the Native population. In 1634, Champlain sent Laviolette to found Trois-Rivières, in order to be closer to the fur supplies. Thus, the first two settlements, Québec and Trois-Rivières, were founded for economic reasons dealing with the fur trade.

Religious Factors

In 1642, Paul de Chomedy de Maisonneuve, assisted by Jeanne Mance, founded Ville-Marie (present day Montreal) in order to establish a religious mission to convert the Indians. Try the following questions on the first settlements.