New Beginnings in a “New World”
Founded in 1608 as a fur trading post, Québec was situated on the site of the old Iroquois village of Stadacona, whose inhabitants had left long before for unknown reasons. The French explorer Samuel de Champlain chose the site due to its prime location where the St. Charles River meets the St. Lawrence and where the St. Lawrence narrows to become about a mile wide. The hilly promontory sharply climbing from the edge of the river was an excellent topographic feature for the purposes of defence.
In order to establish its own overseas colony in the “new world”, France made the effort to institute permanent settlement of its people in the St. Lawrence Valley. Harris (2008) writes that Québec’s
“existence reflected the needs of a French government that sought to centralize its colonial administration and concentrate its soldiers in a few well-defended sites, of religious orders for administrative headquarters for their work, and of merchants for permanent bases of operations…”(p. 67).
As the roles of administration, defence, religious establishment, and merchants came together, they drew in many other sectors of society. Artisans, shopkeepers, labourers, and some manufacturing came to the newly installed village (Harris, p. 67). Québec was now the centre of French colonialism in North America, which lent itself to become the capital of New France.
The centre of French affairs in the Americas, Québec became the administrative node of the colony of New France. The city came to be capital of the royal colony in 1663 due to its “deep sea port and point of transition between ocean and river shipping” (Harris, p. 67). It remained the capital of New France until 1763. In 1763, the French and...
... middle of paper ...
...anada” according to its website, maintains one of its two headquarters in Lévis. Lévis is a Québec suburb on the southern shore of the St. Lawrence where it was founded. The other main office is in Montréal where trade in international markets is more accessible. The company employs 4,000-7,500 people in the CMA (WL, 2007).
Desjardins. n.d. In Who We Are. Retrieved from http://www.desjardins.com/en/a_propos/
Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards. (2011). Employment Levels in Québec’s CMAs in the
First Quarter of 2011. Île-des-Soeurs, Québec: www.fciq.ca/pdf/.../PDF.../11_04_2011-employment_in_rmr.pdf
Service Canada. (2011).
Statistics Canada. (2011).
Western Libraries. (2007). Canada’s Largest Employers by City. London, On:
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