Huguenots in New France

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by AirshipArmada, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. AirshipArmada No body can predict the past

    Jun 26, 2007
    Cardinal Richlieu officially forbid the Huguenots from colonizing in New France. But given that Richlieu would often put political interests above religious interests, that he was personally interested in seeing New France be a success, that he knew more French men were desperately needed in the region, and that the region was full of non-Catholics any ways . . . then perhaps he could have NOT explicitly forbid the Huguenots from going to New France, and could have turned a blind eye when they did.

    In OTL the Huguenots were increasingly persecuted in France in the 17th century and many of them came to the New World - mostly to areas other than New France. Huguenots who went to English or even Dutch territory in OTL may come to New France in ATL.

    After Richelieu came Cardinal Mazarini who stepped up the pressure against Huguenots in France. If there was no official policy against Huguenots moving to the New World already in place, then Mazarini was not likely to create one. He didn’t care about New France as much as Richelieu did and he had a lot of other things going on in Europe to occupy him (civil wars, wars against Spain, and so on). The flow of Huguenots under Mazarinin would likely increase.

    Next comes the Sun King, or more importantly his wife. She hated Protestants and so the pressure against Huguenots in France was ratchetted up again. And ultimately there was the Edict of Fontainbleau (1685). Let’s say the Alt-Edict is a little different. The Alt-Edict forbids Huguenots from attending church in France but does not explicitly mention the colonies. There is still the massive brain-drain as in OTL but now at least some of the people leaving France go to New France instead of going to Germany or wherever.

    Here is the population of New France in OTL:
    1612: In all of North America: 45 French men (There were 300 Englishmen at this time in all North America)
    1630: In Quebec: 90
    Then the French lost Quebec to the English and then regained it.
    1632: In Quebec: 42
    1640: in all New France 356 (240 men, 116 women)
    There is war between the Huron and Mohawk tribes. France favored the Huron but they were wiped out. Mohawk attacked Frenchmen and France sent lots of soldiers over to help defend the areas. Soldiers were rewarded with land in New France and the colony got economic support from the government (as opposed from private investment groups). Immigration increased and the population bloomed.
    1663: 3035
    1685: 10,977
    But after 1685 immigration essentially halts. The population still increase naturally at a rate of about 3% per year.
    1700: about 17,000


    ALT population of New France
    1632: 42 (French still lose Quebec so population is the same)
    1640: 421 (35 Huguenot men, and 25 Huguenot women are added)
    1663: 6567 (3404 Huguenots. I added 100 per year and figured in the natural 3% annual increase experienced in OTL, this make the French population in 1663 more than double OTL’s)
    1685: 25,822 (14,845 Huguenots. I added 250 per year, + natural growth. Again this more than doubles OTL New France population)
    1685 - Edict of Fontainbleau causes from 200,000 to 1 million Huguenots to leave France. Lets say that only a very small portion of those go to New France. Say 1000 a year for the next 5 years then only 500 a year for the 10 years after that.
    This makes New France's population:

    1690 a.d.: 35,400 Frenchmen/women
    1700 a.d.: 53,500 Frenchmen/women

    Even with very modest Huguenot immigration, Alt New France in 1700 has a population more than 3 times OTL and is 70 percent Protestants.

    A couple of other things should be notes.
    - The Huguenots were generally skilled craftsmen - they would be very good settlers.
    - One of the top priorities in OTL was for New France to have good ship yards. These facilities would be even better ATL.
    - In OTL New France needed some economic help from France on average 2 years out of every 10 - the colony was nearly self sufficient. With Huguenots coming over, New France would be self sufficient from about 1660 onward).
    - Unlike in English territory. French policy purposely encouraged the marriage between settlers and native inhabitants.

    What will the 1700's be like?
    What about the 7 Years War in America?
  2. Dan1988 Thinks he's going off his nut

    Feb 23, 2007
    ATL Royaume du Canada
    Well, for one the ARW won't happen. A lot of the people that were involved in the ARW were Huguenots or were of Huguenot descent. Also, a lot of the American colonies owned by England are going to be poorer as a result since the Huguenots won't be around. They would concentrate their energies in la Nouvelle-France.