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History, New France: 1600-1763

When the French government saw the potential value of the fur trade, the fishing industry, and other resources of northern North America, it began to take more interest in the region, which came to be known as New France. New France would eventually comprise Canada (the area drained by the St. Lawrence), Acadia (now the Maritime provinces), the island of Newfoundland (shared unwillingly with the English), and later Louisiana (the valley of the Mississippi River). France claimed and defended this vast area as its possession. For the most part, however, indigenous inhabitants continued their way of life unaffected by French laws or customs, and they dealt with the French primarily as allies and as customers for their furs. The French claim was contested by the English, who tried persistently to divert the fur trade or to occupy parts of the territory.

 

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