situation of New France was deeply influenced by Louis XIV’s style of
government and his decision to assume personal charge of state affairs.
He centralized the military, legal, and financial administration and
domesticated the aristocracy to create a successful absolutist regime.
King, the most influential decision-maker for New France was Jean-Baptiste
de Colbert, controller-general of finances and minister of colonial
affairs. He conducted a reform of national finances, promoted economic
self-sufficiency, and built a colonial empire with a navy to defend it.
France was of course influenced by the strengthened absolutism of the
French regime, in practice, the huge distance that separated the royal
colony from the mother country made direct rule impossible. Royal
instructions were often obsolete by the time they reached the colony; as
a result, the colonial government often had to take action on its own to
respond to pressing matters.
most urgent problem of New France was security. In 1663, 1,300 troops
from the Régiment de Carigan-Salières were sent to subdue the Iroquois.
The Confederacy soon agreed to a peace treaty and peace was maintained
for two decades, which gave the French time to strengthen their
increase the small population, the royal government sent about 800 young
women to New France, where most men were bachelors. They were the Filles
du Roy, whose transport and dowry were paid by the King. Most were
orphans from the Hôpital-Général de Paris and married within a few
weeks (hardened bachelors were threatened with the revocation of their
fur-trading license). Soldiers also made good immigrants: 400 members of
the Régiment de Carigan-Sallières stayed in New France. There was an
influx of indentured servants (engagés). Between 1663 and 1673, 4,000
immigrants arrived, thus doubling the population of the colony - by
contrast, between 1608 and 1659, only about 5,000 immigrants had
encouragement was given to speed up natural increase: families of 10
children and more are given bonuses. The living conditions, better than
in France, helped decrease infant mortality, thus ensuring a more rapid
natural growth. The population grew from 15,000 in 1700 to 70,000 in
1763, mostly through natural increase, since only 9,000 immigrants came to
New France to stay in the 150 years of French rule.
royal government paid little attention to Acadia, held by the English
from 1654 to 1670, when it was returned to France and a governor was
appointed. The very weak French presence left the territory in the hands
of the native Micmac and Abenaki tribes.