• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Role of Women in New France

Extracts from this document...


Women: Makers and Partakers of Canadian History The Role of Women in New France As New France developed as a colony in North America between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the significant contributions of key players became engrained in Canadian history. While the majority of recognizable explorers, traders, and generals are male, there are numerous accounts of women assisting or taking charge of various aspects of colonial life. Aboriginal women were able to influence both sides of the fur trade through intermarriage. European women took part in building convents, educating young girls, and gaining political leverage through their spouses. While their usefulness was never-ending, women, both European and Aboriginal, were subjected to a very different lifestyle as New France was being molded into a nation. This new lifestyle opened up many opportunities and, despite the ever-present toils and patriarchal views that they had to endure, both European and Aboriginal women acted as essential entities in the development of New France. The experiences of the Aboriginal women differed greatly from those of the European women. What they do have in common, though, is that they were able to influence the roles of men and that, regardless of their roles in the development of New France, they were limited by a patriarchal society. However, through an increasing access to literature from the period of colonization in New France, women, Native and European alike, created an overlap of the "home and the public sphere" through ...read more.


Upon seeing the relative equality between the sexes among the Natives, the missionaries carried out intensive campaigns to restore their disruption of the "natural authority".15 However, despite being submerged into a European tradition, many Aboriginal women were able to gain financially from the European system. While the world they knew transformed into one that relied on capital, the Aboriginal women benefitted from their ties to the French. Numerous french officers placed their Native wives in their wills, ensuring that they would be provided for.16 The negative aspects of intermarriage take a toll on the culture of Aboriginal women. Nevertheless, to assume that they were unknowing victims to this is incorrect. The Native women understood their potential to aid the fur trade and, although they sacrificed much, they were able to gain a new lifestyle that appropriated them with the developments that were occurring around them. As the Aboriginal women became a critical part of the fur trade, European women lent their support to the social development of New France. The first significant group of women that landed in the North American colony came with the intent to establish institutions that would promote the development of a society in New France. The devot�s started to come in 1640 to start up convents.17 Here the sisters and nuns would take in young girls, Aboriginal and European, and educate them. ...read more.


The European women remained in a patriarchal society where they would remain inferior, but their position in society, on average, was stronger than anywhere else at that time.32 Rather than just have a history of male explorers and conquerors, the history of New France is rich with significant women applying their talents to the evolution of this nation. While they did endure numerous toils within their daily lives, the women involved in the development of the colony of New France entered a new lifestyle that relied on them in order to evolve. French ideals may have called for "one law, one religion, one king, and one people," yet the role of many people, several cultures, and varying authoritative figures was essential to the production of a solid nation in New France.33 The convents that supplied a religious people with a solid institution for education and theology, the noblewomen who owned businesses and worked with their husbands to contribute to the nation's economy, the filles du roi who populated the towns and cultivated much of the land, and the aboriginals who worked to maintain the vital fur trade are all apart of Canada's history. The success of New France can be attributed to strong battles, solid legislation, and courageous explorers. However, it is the individuals of this colony that built the nation. The men along with, and beside, the women constructed New France. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1600-1699 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree 1600-1699 essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    'Repressive and emotionally cold'. Is this a true reflection of relations between parents and ...

    4 star(s)

    Lawrence Stone argues that swaddling began to decline from the end of the seventeenth century due to the fact that parents were beginning to care for their children more9. However, what Stone fails to acknowledge is the growing increase in knowledge of the human body.

  2. "Assimilation and its successor, Association, were euphemisms for the political and economic exploitation of ...

    For a brief period, therefore, the French adopted a system of indirect rule using indigenous leaders as their surrogates. The local rulers, however, exercised authority only by sanction of the French administrators. Those rulers who refused to submit to French directives were deposed and replaced with more cooperative ones.

  1. The Importance of the Diary for a Study of Archbishop Laud

    of the church to 'the upper end of the chancel north and south and a rail before it or round it to keep it from annoyance'19, which is usually accredited by historians as highly significant; indeed it is the only point out of thirteen in Laud's June 1635 Metropolitical Visitation Charge which is completely new.

  2. The Dutch trade during the Anglo- Dutch wars. The Anglo-Dutch wars were instigated ...

    Because the French were at war with England, the Batavian republic was dragged into the war. The English once again took over all of the Dutch Colonies. The English defeated the Batavian fleet in 1797, and in 1799, the English and the Russians tried to invade the Batavian Republic yet

  1. Assess the view that Charles I rather than Archbishop Laud directed ecclesiastical affairs during ...

    significant patron in church preferment in the 1630's'17, a position which can be attributed to the trust Charles placed in Laud's opinions. Indeed the strength of the loyalty and friendship between the two is evident as one of the reasons that no parliament was called between 1629-40, despite the kings

  2. The French revolution (1789-99) violently transformed France from a monarchical state with a rigid ...

    Meanwhile as they continued to live in terrible conditions the poor were taxed and the rich got richer, this angered all of the 3rd estate but especially the Bourgeoisie as they were being limited in their search to increased their wealth, they also had the intelligence to see that there was an alternative but as .

  1. Free essay

    Discuss the idea that The turn of the Screw is written in such a ...

    This is however, not the case. The governess' Romantic love for her master is fuelled by her love of Romantic novels, and is never reciprocated. It therefore seems that she is misguided in believing she can adopt a heroic stance, as Flora leaves sick and vowing never to speak to

  2. How far can the problems facing the colony of Virginia from 1607 to 1624 ...

    Woodward blames the quality of the settlers themselves for the problems of severe malnourishment and starvation. Morgan describes the colonists at Jamestown as workshy and idle, and states that the settlers ?neglected the crucial business of growing food to stay alive? and ?fritted away their time and energy?.[6] The traditionalist

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work