Created by aita on May 14, 2009
Last updated: 11/06/09 at 01:54 AM
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CHAMPLAIN, Samuel de, French navigator, born in Brouage, Saintonge, on the bay of Biscay, in 1567 ; died in Quebec, 25 Dec., 1635. His father was a ship-captain, and the son received a careful education as a navigator. Early in life he entered the army and became quartermaster of cavalry. His uncle, acting as pilot-general of the Spanish fleets, conducted back to their own country the Spanish soldiers who had served in France, and was accompanied by his nephew, who took command of the "St. Julien." In January, 1599, he sailed in command of this vessel for the West Indies, and during two years and a half visited many of the islands, landed at Vera Cruz, proceeded inland as far as the city of Mexico, and returned by way of Panama, where he conceived the plan of a ship-canal across the isthmus, reaching Spain in March, 1601. A record of this voyage, with views and charts, was written by him, and was first printed under the title of "Bref discours" (Quebec, 1870), though a translation had been previously printed in the publications of the Hakluyt society.
The Viceroyalty of New France (French: Vice-royauté de Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France in North America during a period extending from the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River, by Jacques Cartier in 1534, to the cession of New France to Spain and Britain in 1763. At its peak in 1712 (before the Treaty of Utrecht), the territory of New France extended from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The territory was then divided in five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland (Plaisance), and Louisiana. The Treaty of Utrecht resulted in the relinquishing of French claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland colonies, and the establishment of the colony of Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) as the successor to Acadia.
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France.
Christopher Columbus was a Genoese navigator, colonizer and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean—funded by Queen Isabella of Spain—led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. Although not the first to reach the Americas from Europe—he was preceded by the Norse, led by Leif Ericson, who built a temporary settlement 500 years earlier at L'Anse aux Meadows— Columbus initiated widespread contact between Europeans and indigenous Americans. With his several attempts at establishing a settlement on the island of Hispaniola, he personally initiated the process of Spanish colonization which foreshadowed general European colonization of the "New World."
The Vikings were important because people have proof that "The Vikings" were the first europeans to visit Canada.