The Great Intendant

Thomas Chapais
The Great Intendant

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Great Intendant, by Thomas
Chapais #6 in our series "Chronicles of Canada"
Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.
This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.
Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how
the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.
**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**
**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since
*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of
Title: The Great Intendant A Chronicle of Jean Talon in Canada
Author: Thomas Chapais Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H.
Langton Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4971] [Yes, we are
more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on
April 8, 2002]
Edition: 10

Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

This etext was produced by Gardner Buchanan.

CHRONICLES OF CANADA Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H.
Langton In thirty-two volumes
Volume 6
THE GREAT INTENDANT A Chronicle of Jean Talon in Canada

When the year 1665 began, the French colony on the shores of the St
Lawrence, founded by the valour and devotion of Champlain, had been
in existence for more than half a century. Yet it was still in a pitiable
state of weakness and destitution. The care and maintenance of the
settlement had devolved upon trading companies, and their
narrow-minded mercantile selfishness had stifled its progress. From
other causes, also, there had been but little growth. Cardinal Richelieu,
the great French minister, had tried at one time to infuse new life into
the colony; [Footnote: For the earlier history of New France the reader
is referred to three other volumes in this Series--The Founder of New
France, The Seigneurs of Old Canada, and The Jesuit Missions.] but his
first attempts had been unlucky, and later on his powerful mind was
diverted to other plans and achievements and he became absorbed in
the wider field of European politics. To the shackles of commercial
greed, to forgetfulness on the part of the mother country, had been

added the curse of Indian wars. During twenty-five years the daring and
ferocious Iroquois had been the constant scourge of the handful of
settlers, traders, and missionaries. Champlain's successors in the office
of governor, Montmagny, Ailleboust, Lauzon, Argenson, Avaugour,
had no military force adequate to the task of meeting and crushing
these formidable foes. Year after year the wretched colony maintained
its struggle for existence amidst deadly perils, receiving almost no help
from France, and to all appearance doomed to destruction. To make
things worse, internal strife exercised its disintegrating influence; there
was contention among the leaders in New France over the vexed
question of the liquor traffic. In the face of so many adverse
circumstances--complete lack of means, cessation of immigration from
the mother country, the perpetual menace of the bloody Iroquois
incursions, a dying trade, and a stillborn agriculture--how could the
colony be kept alive at all? Spiritual and civil authorities, the governor
and the bishop, the Jesuits and the traders, all united in petitioning for
assistance. But the motherland was far away, and European wars and
rivalries were engrossing all her attention.
Fortunately a change was at hand. The prolonged struggle of the Thirty
Years' War and of the war against Spain had been ended by the treaty
of Munster and Osnabruck in 1648 and by that of the Pyrenees in 1659.
The civil dissensions of the Fronde were over, thanks to the skilful
policy of Cardinal Mazarin, Richelieu's successor. After the death of
Mazarin in 1661, Louis XIV had taken into his own hands the reins of
administration. He was young, painstaking, and ambitious; and he
wanted to be not only king but the real ruler of his kingdom. In Jean
Baptiste Colbert, the man who had been Mazarin's right hand, he had
the good fortune to find one of the best administrators in all French
history. Colbert soon won the king's confidence. He was instrumental
in detecting the maladministration of Fouquet as superintendent of
Finance, and became a member of the council appointed to investigate
and report on all
Continue reading on your phone by scaning this QR Code

 / 35
Tip: The current page has been bookmarked automatically. If you wish to continue reading later, just open the Dertz Homepage, and click on the 'continue reading' link at the bottom of the page.