History of Quebec and Canada/Study Guide/Topic 2: Royal Government

Why was Royal Government adopted in 1663 and what were its key characteristics ?

King Louis XIV wanted to make France the most powerful country in Europe and to make New France a strong colony. Consequently, the charter of the Company of 100 Associates (1627-1663) was cancelled, since it had defaulted on its promise to transport thousands of settlers to New France, and the colony now came under the king's direct control. Jean-Baptiste Colbert was Louis XIV's most important minister and he was to run the colony through the Ministry of the Marine. To execute their plan, Royal Government was thus established in New France in 1663.

Royal Government

Intendant: Responsible for the daily economic

affairs of the colony, trade, justice, finance, settlement and seigneurialism.

The Bishop: Was in charge of the church which was responsible

for the spiritual needs of the colony, its schools,

charities, hospitals and for the conversion of the Natives.

Governor: represented the king in the colony; responsible for the defence

of New France and for relations with the English and the Indians

The Sovereign Council:

  • It consisted of a dozen officials including the governor,

intendant and bishop.

  • It acted as a legislative, administrative and judicial body.
  • It was the sole governing authority in the colony responsible to the king.

Captains of militia

They reported to the intendant the concerns of the habitants and informed the habitants of the intendant's plans.

Try the following questions on Royal Government.