The First Soldiers of New France

A Time Of Change

A New Prize: Fur

By the beginning of the seventeenth century, the nations of northwestern Europe had accepted the obvious: it was unrealistic to continue hoping that they, like Spain, would discover countries with mountains of gold and rivers of diamonds. Nevertheless, considerable profit could be made from the exploitation of more conventional natural resources. First among these was fur. Aware of the new interest in it, the Iroquois set out resolutely to control the fur trade, thereby coming into conflict with tribes allied with the French. At the same time, various conflicts arose among the European nations disputing territory in North America. It was in this difficult climate that small colonies began to emerge in New France in the seventeenth century.