|The Company of 100 Associates|
|"Compagnie des Cent Associes"|
|The Company of One Hundred Associates was formed by Cardinal Richelieu, to promote the development of colonization in New France. He believed that the colony would provide natural resources to France, where goods could be manufactured, and later sold back to the settlers at a tidy profit.
With this in mind, he secured the rights to a vast portion of North America (though it was still under the juristiction of the Canadian Government); where his company would hold all rights to (French) trade; duty free; for a period of fiteen years. In exchange, they promised to send three hundred people to Canada every year, guaranteeing a population of 4,000 by the end of their tenure. This would be a costly endevour, considering the fact that they would have to support the settlers for a minimum of three years, and out of their own pocket, provide each community with three Catholic priests.
To recruit his directors, he decided that rather than only rely on the nobles or merchants, he would draw from both; but before he did this he would have to create a level playing field. Therefore, he stated that any member of the nobility who signed on as an associate would not lose their standing by engaging in trade; while issuing patents of nobility to the merchants and heads of shipping companies, who became members. The only requirement, aside from a heavy purse; was that they be French and Catholic; and the only expense to the government was the provision of two fully equipped warships.
|As for the future colonists, they would be little more than indentured servants, with every aspect of their lives dictated by the Company.
The first fleet, heavily loaded with supplies and settlers, left France in 1628, but was captured by the Kirke Brothers, leaving the people already in New France in dire need of supplies, and the Company of 100 Associates, on the verge of bankruptcy. It would be several years before they could renew their enterprise, but in 1640, the "beaver wars" meant further disaster; and in 1663, the company folded, without ever showing a profit.
Rene de Berthoulat
Bertrand de Champflour
Samuel de Champlain
Jean de Jouy
Louis de La Cour
Gaspard de Loup
Isaac de Razilly
Charles Robin (coursay)
Charles Robin (vau)
Claude de Roquemont
Francois St. Aubin
Hierosime St. Onge
Jean du Tayot
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