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5.4.10 CARTE VNIVERSELLE du MONDE Avec de nouvelles Observations : AMERIQUE SEPTEMTRIONALE
California as an island with indented northern coast and narrow center. California place names: C. Blanc, C. Mendocino, Pa. de los Reiez, Pa. de Monterei, P. de Francois Drac, I. Gigante, I.S. Clement, I. de Para, B. des Vierges, I. Ceintas, B.S. Christophie, C.S. Lucas. Destroit de Vriez, Terre de Iesso ou Eso, Terre de la Compagnie and Destroit d'Anien to northwest. Title cartouche (top left) with four festively-dressed figures holding draped cloth on which title appears. 2nd title is within simple cartouche flanked by two native men (bottom center).
The French government produced this map of North America in the 1670s. Find places that would be familiar to you on the map — such as California (which remarkably appears to be an island) or maybe cities on the West Coast, East Coast, and in the Midwest. Then, notice that the French produced this map in order to highlight all of the key resources that its empire held in North America. The Louisiana River, all of its tributaries, the Great Lakes, and Canada are much more prominent on this French map than on non-French maps and more recent maps. One reason that the French highlighted these waterways is because it shows their economic goals for colonizing North America. Goods they could sell to Native peoples (such as mirrors and weapons) and products they could transport from North America back to France (such as beaver pelts) traveled easily along these waterways.
Why do you think the French preferred to transport goods and people on water rather than over land?
Students will likely be confused by several features on this map, especially the fact that the French saw California as an island, and that the scale of features is off. However, this primary source provides many helpful insights about how the French viewed the world and their own colonization efforts in North America in the 1600s. Point out to students that transporting goods and people for trading over water was faster and cheaper than transporting over land. Moreover, point out that if the French had moved goods over land, there would have been two or even three other European powers they would have had to fight in order to get to France. The Mississippi River, Port of New Orleans, and Great Lakes served as important strategic, economic, and commercial purposes for French colonizers. Ask students to use features on this French map to make connections between the map and the economic motivations for settling the New World.
Top left-hand corner of map reads:
Carte Universelle du Monde Avec de Nouvelles Observations
Geographe Ordinaire du Roy.
Chez l'Autheur, en 'Isle du Palais,
fur le Quay de l'Orloge.
proc[illegible] le coin de la rue de Harlay.
Avec Privilege du Roy pour vingt Ans.
Bottom of map reads:
Par P. DU-VAL Geographe Ord.re du Roy.