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French Immigration to America Timeline

The French were a powerful European nation and the explorations of their explorers resulted in the establishment of French colonies in America that were collectively known as 'New France' (Gallia Nova) from 1534 to 1763. The names of the five colonies of New France consisted of Arcadia, Canada, Plaisance, Hudson Bay and the French colony of Louisiana.

The History Timeline of French Immigration to America is therefore extremely important and reflect important dates and events that prompted the emigration of people from France.

French Immigration to America Timeline
The French Immigration to America Timeline provides dates and important events that provide the history of US immigration from France. The Famous historical events include the discoveries of the explorers, the establishment of the colonies of New France, Louisiana Purchase, French and Indian Wars and the Famine and the Potato Blight in France. The French Immigration to America Timeline highlights the Push and Pull factors of immigration such as political and religious persecution, wars that occured in France together with dates of any natural disasters such as floods, plague, crop failures and famine. The dates and types of religious and political conflicts and the natural disasters that afflicted France are highlighted in the French Immigration to America Timeline enabling kids and students to understand the history of immigration to the United States.

French Immigration to America Timeline: Religion
The state religion of France was staunchly Roman Catholic but in 1517 Martin Luther initiated the Protestant religion and this new reform movement spread across Europe. The French Protestants were called Huguenots and were inspired by the writing of John Calvin. As a minority group, the Huguenots suffered religious persecution which led some of them to immigrate to the New World of America.

French Immigration to America Timeline
Between 1820 - 2000 French Immigration to America totalled over half a million. According to the US Bureau of the Census of 2011 a total of 9,136,092 Americans claimed to be solely or partially of French descent. French-Americans made a significant impact on the culture of Americans and the history of the United States as can be seen in the following timeline detailing these immigrants to America. 



Martin Luther sparks the Protestant Reformation. French Protestants were in the minority and referred to as Huguenots.



The Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano (1485 – 1528) explored the coast of North America, on behalf of France, from the Carolinas north to Nova Scotia.



The explorer Jacques Cartier established the settlement of Charlesbourg Royal in the colony of 'Canada' along the St. Lawrence River



The settlement of Charlesbourg Royal was abandoned but France gained an important fur trading foothold.



French theologian John Calvin (Jean Calvin - 1509 to 1564) inspires the French Protestants



The Huguenot Jean Ribault enters the St. Johns River in Florida claiming the territory for France



The Spanish in Florida opposed the Protestant French presence and attack the military settlement founded by Jean Ribault. 350 Huguenot colonists and Jean Ribault are taken prisoner by the Spanish and questioned whether they were Catholics. All those who were Huguenot Protestants were killed by the Spanish. The infamous event occurred on September 29, 1565 and is referred to as the Florida Massacre.



The first fur trading post is established in North America, at Tadoussac, by Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit



Acadia was established as a French colony in north-eastern North America



Explorer Samuel Champlain explored the area of the Great Lakes and founds Quebec



Jesuit and Recollet (Franciscan) missionaries start to establish Catholic missions in the colonies of New France and were some of the first immigrants.



The Company of New France was given the complete monopoly of the fur trade. In return the Company agreed to take 200 - 300 settlers a year to colonies.



Famine and disease struck the eastern France from 1650 to 1652 causing deaths and widespread poverty



The colony at Plaisance in the Newfoundland area was established by France



The huge French Hudson Bay colony was established by France



New France made into a royal colony, heralding the first major Wave of Colonists.



Alexandre de Prouville had forced peace with the Native American Indians to pathe the way for more immigrants and French Indentured Servants, called Engagés, took the opportunity to immigrate to America. More than 3000 colonists made their way to the New World in the 1670's.



Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette explore the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Arkansas River



The lack of women in the colonies was addressed by King Louis XIV in a emigration system, referred to as the 'King's Daughters', in which girls of marriageable age were given free passage to America to boost the population of the Canada colony.



Famine followed by disease struck France in the 1680's and 1690's increasing the numbers of immigrants.



The massive French colony of Louisiana, stretching for 3,000 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River up to Canada was established by France.



Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle explores the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico



The French and Indian Wars (1688-1763) began between Britain and France for the possession of North America, involving their various American Indian allies. The French and Indian Wars were to last for 75 years.



The Great Famine of 1693-1694 claimed 1.5 lives in France to death and diseases such as typhus.



Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville explores the Gulf Coast and discovers Biloxi, Mississippi



1709 Another terrible famine lasting from 1709 -1710, killed over half a million people in France



The Company of the West, run by John Law a favorite of the monarchy, brings 7000 Europeans and 3000 slaves to the Louisiana Colony.



The city of New Orleans was founded and the Creole society emerged.



The "Mississippi Bubble" burst and control of migration to the Louisiana Colony was taken from John Law and returned to the French monarchy.



Famine followed by disease struck France in the 1730's and 1740's



The Expulsion of the Arcadians (1755–1764) occurred during the French and Indian War as part of the British campaign against New France. Exiles from Arcadia migrate to the French Louisiana colony
establishing the Cajun culture.



France, realising they had lost the French and Indian Wars made the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau with Spain ceding Louisiana, as well as New Orleans to the Spanish.



The Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian Wars by which most of the colonies of New France were ceded to Great Britain.



France became allied to America during the War of Independence (1775 - 1783) supplying military support, ammunition and money to the US.



France was hit with harsh winters and devastating harvest  (1787 - 1789) which led to deaths, hunger disease and great poverty. These terrible events led to the final outbreak of the French Revolution.



The French Revolution (1789 to 1799) increased French migration to America with refugees fleeing for religious and political reasons.



The Treaty of San Ildefonso forces Spain to return the territory of Louisiana to France.



The Louisiana Purchase was agreed and 828,000 sq. miles of land was sold by France to the US for 15
million dollars.



Famine and the Potato Blight led to a massive increase in French Immigration to America from 1846 - 1848



Political persecution follows the coup d'état of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte



The Ellis Island immigration center was opened (1892 - 1954) where immigrants from Europe were required to undertake to medical and legal inspections. Less than 2% of immigrants from France were turned away.



The Panic of 1893 led to a 4 year economic depression, high unemployment levels reaching 20% and a rise in prejudice and discrimination against immigrants.



Emigration from France fell to small levels in the 1900's

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