The Dutch and French in the New World Essay

The Dutch and French in the New World

Following the Spanish discovery and settlement of parts of the New World, other European nations joined in as they began to develop their own technology and capability to traveling there.  Among them were France and Holland.  The French were among the aggressive explorers and settlers of the New World as they were competing with the Spanish and the English.  Most of the French who settled here were the Hugenots, persecuted in predominantly Catholic France.  They initially settled in what is now Florida and the Carolinas but faced a very hostile Spain there which wiped out these settlements which was all the more “better” for the settler were Protestants.  Later expeditions were sponsored by the king of France which saw the acquisition of parts of what is now Canada as underscored by the creation of Quebec by Samuel de Champlain and explorations by Robert La Salle saw the French moving southward and occupy what is now Louisiana[1].  French settlers came to the New World to escape the religious persecution there and the Hugenots were one of those who fled France.

The Dutch also staked their claim on the New World as well but was not great in scale compared to the other leading colonizers.  Unlike the other colonizers which were sponsored by their respective governments, Dutch explorations and colonizers were conducted by trading corporations such as the Dutch East India Company who were granted charters and they mainly settled in areas of what is now New York state[2] (Magnus and Aerssen 1621).  The difference between the French and Dutch was also in terms of immigration.  Where the French settled in droves, very few Dutch settlers came because Holland was practically freer than the rest of the European states hence there was hardly any need for migration as the Dutch were relatively happy.  There was no famine, no poverty and no persecution whatsoever that would drive them away compared to other settlers who came to the New World to escape famine, poverty and persecution (Henry George School of Social Science 2010).  By far, the only Dutch settlers were mainly called “patroons” who were made up of the landed gentry from Holland such as Van Rensselaer and Van Cortlandt.  They attempted to practice a feudalistic system in the New World which eventually failed and the Dutch were eventually eased out of their lands by the English who supplanted their settlements with their own, hardly leaving any trace of their presence such as New Holland becoming New York to underscore the new ownership.

In conclusion, the Dutch did not leave much of a legacy as they were displaced and replaced by the English yet somehow traces of their influence can be found in New York’s state flag which bears the color orange, their “national” color as well as some of the settlements they founded, whose names were retained by the English.  The French controlled the areas along the Mississippi until the newly-created United States bought the area in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase while losing most of Canada to the English in the Seven Years’ War.
Bibliography

de Champlain, Samuel. “The Foundation of Quebec.” Fordham University. 1608. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1608champlain.html (accessed July 26, 2010).

Henry George School of Social Science. The Dutch in the New World. 2010. http://www.landandfreedom.org/ushistory/us2.htm (accessed July 26, 2010).

Magnus, J., and C. Aerssen. “Charter of the Dutch West India Company.” The Avalon Project. 1621. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/westind.asp (accessed July 26, 2010).

Parkman, Francis. “Pioneers of France in the New World.” 2010. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3721/3721-h/3721-h.htm (accessed July 27, 2010).

[1] Francis Parkman, “Pioneers of France in the New World.” 2010. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3721/3721-h/3721-h.htm (accessed July 27, 2010). Samuel de Champlain, “The Foundation of Quebec.” Fordham University. 1608. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1608champlain.html (accessed July 26, 2010).

[2] J. Magnus and C. Aerssen, “Charter of the Dutch West India Company.” The Avalon Project. 1621. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/westind.asp (accessed July 26, 2010).