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CHAPTER XVI.

THE TWO EMPIRES, – THE UNITED STATES AND

CANADA.

NORTH AMERICA was now divided into two principal empires, the United States and Canada. The Mexican empire at the South has entered but little into the history and progress of the world.

The French empire in America had passed away. Let us glance at this vanished dominion, so full of romance and once so promising of great results.

The French settlements in Acadia, on the Bay of Fundy, and in Canada, were formed before the building of Jamestown. They became military and missionary posts rather than agricultural colonies, and depended upon the home government for support rather than upon themselves. They were famous for brilliant explorations, but the explorers nowhere rooted themselves to the soil. They gained the friendship of the Indians and lived in peace with them, joined them in the chase and dance, and even adopted their customs and habits. The French Jesuits penetrated the recesses of the wilderness, preaching in wigwams, baptizing converts, and adorning them with the emblems of their faith.

In 1673 two of these missionaries, Marquette and Joliet, discovered the Mississippi, finding their way to it by the great water-courses of the Fox and Wisconsin. In 1682 Robert de la Salle passed down the river to the Gulf

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1754.

French and Indian War.

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of Mexico, and in honor of Louis XIV. called the territory Louisiana. The king afterwards granted him a commission to found a colony there. The explorer accepted the trust, came with his colony in ships from France to the Gulf of Mexico, but was unable to find the mouth of the Mississippi. He landed on the coast of Texas, and founded a temporary settlement. He then started on an expedition by land to discover the Mississippi. A conspiracy was formed against him among his own followers, and he was treacherously shot by one of them, and his colony was not long afterwards destroyed by the Indians.

As often as England and France went to war, there was war between the English and French colonists. The French always found allies in the Indians, and, by employing these merciless warriors, gained a reputation for barbarity quite foreign to their national character. This was the case during King William's War, when the massacre at Schenectady occurred ; and, again, in 1706, when Deerfield and Haverhill, in Massachusetts, were sacked and burned by the French and Indians.

The decisive struggle between the French and English in America, for the possession of the country between the Great Lakes and the Mexican Gulf, began in 1753. Louisiana had now become quite populous and wealthy, and a plan was formed to connect Canada with Louisiana by a line of forts, extending from Lake Erie along the waters of the Ohio to the Mississippi, thus bounding the English territory. The project brought the French into collision with the Ohio Company, which led to the French and Indian war (1754). It was during this war that Acadia was depopulated, for refusing to give allegiance to the English. Seven thousand Acadians were forced on shipboard and transported to the English colonies, where they were scattered and supported as paupers. The struggle ended in 1762, in the victory of the English at Quebec.

The English colonies now began to grow in Canada. Immigration increased, Montreal became a city, and a thronging multitude of settlers began to build on the tributaries of the Ohio. The borders of the lakes on either side were lined with prosperous villages. The War for Independence separated the Canadian from the Atlantic colonies at the natural boundary of the gulf and lakes.

The population of Canada became nearly four millions. Montreal is one of the most beautiful cities in America, and contains some of the finest churches in the New World. It is situated in a region of varied beauty, that has been called the “Garden of the Continent." The view from Mount Royal, which seems to overhang the city, is one of the most picturesque in the North. The St. Lawrence, the Lachine Rapids, the distant mountains of Belcil and Boucherville, the rich soil, with bending orchards and dark forests, the villas, country seats, and pleasuregrounds near at hand, the melodious bell of the French cathedral in the mild, bright air, all combine to make the scene one ever to be remembered :

“ Ever changing, ever new,

When will the landscape tire the view ?
The fountain's fall; the river's flow;
The woody valley, warm and low;
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly reaching to the sky;
The pleasant seat; the ruined tower;
The naked rock; the shady bower;
The town, the village, dome, and farm,
Each gives to each a double charm,

Like pearls upon an Ethiop's arm.” It was with such scenery in view that Thomas Moore wrote his “ Canadian Boat Song :"

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