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Civilization 4: Colinization: French Profile

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  • Civilization 4: Colinization: French Profile



    French Profile

    French Monarchy
    Founded: 486 AD

    After the fall of Rome in 476 AD, the citizens of Gaul were left without a ruler. It would be only 10 short years, however, before the region's first King, Clovis I, a member of the House of Merovingian, established the first Frankish kingdom. The four hundred year reign of the Merovingian's dynasty was plagued with uncertainty, betrayal and infighting. Not until the rise of a king known as Charles the Great - also known as Charlemagne - established the Carolingian dynasty in 800 AD did the true beginnings of the French monarchy take hold.

    Roughly two hundred years later, Hugh Capet, a relative through marriage of the Carolingians, would rise to the throne and establish the house that ruled France for the next eight hundred years - the Capetians. From their seat of power in Ile-de-France (the current location of the French capital Paris), the Capetians split into numerous branches over the centuries. Several of these branches came into great power, including the Valois, who ruled France from 1328 until 1589, and the Bourbon, who ruled from 1589 until the French Revolution in 1792. So widespread was the power of the Capetian line that their descendents held thrones from Constantinople to Portugal.

    Samuel de Champlain
    Founder of Quebec
    Lived: 1567 - 1635
    Traits: Cooperative (Natives are more tolerant, -50% time spend living among Natives to learn a new skill), Enterprising (+100% Native conversion rates from Missions)

    A soldier, sailor, and scribe, Samuel de Champlain founded the French colonial capital of Quebec and is widely considered the father of New France.

    Born in 1567 in Brouage, France, Champlain was trained as a navigator, and began his career as an explorer by visiting the French and Spanish colonies of the Caribbean. Upon his return from the islands, he committed his many observations to paper and gave the resulting report to the French king, Henry IV. His careful observations helped establish him as an authority on the New World. (Interestingly, Champlain mentions in his report the idea of creating a canal across the thin strip of land known as Panama, marking the first conception of what would become the Panama Canal.)

    Upon returning to the New World, Champlain traveled to the French holdings in the chilly reaches of North America. He aided in the foundation of the island colony of St. Croix, off the coast of what is today the state of Maine in the United States, and continued to transcribe his observations of the natives of the north.

    When the location of St. Croix proved too isolating to make a profitable trading post, Champlain suggested to the patron of the colony, a man known as De Monts, that a trading post along the St. Lawrence could be a successful investment, if given the proper leadership. De Monts agreed and selected Champlain to lead the colony.

    On July 3rd, 1608, after sailing down the Saint Lawrence River, Champlain began the construction of the colony of Quebec. In order to protect his newly founded colony, Champlain established relations with the local Algonquin and Huron natives, and formed an alliance with them against the neighboring Iroquois and their English allies. Despite numerous raids by the Iroquois and skirmishes with the English, Champlain kept the colony alive and thriving. He made frequent trips back to France in order to secure funds to continue to support the continued growth of his blossoming colony.

    In 1629, Quebec was finally taken by the English, and Champlain was captured. He was exiled to England as a prisoner of war before being returned to France. Unable to return to his New World home until 1632, Champlain was able to enjoy Quebec only three more years before passing away.

    Louis de Frontenac
    Governor of New France
    Lived: 1622 1698
    Traits: Cooperative (Natives are more tolerant, -50% time spend living among Natives to learn a new skill), Militaristic (free promotion to Grenadier I)

    Born to a well-to-do family in 1622, de Frontenac was led from an early age towards the path of the career soldier. By the age of fifteen, he had enlisted and shipped off to Holland to aid in that country's war of independence against the Spanish. By the age of twenty-six, he had attained the rank of Brigadier-General.

    In 1669, de Frontenac was among the first soldiers selected to join in the defense of the Greek island of Crete from the encroaching Turks. Despite failure in the face of the Turkish forces, de Frontenac proved himself a valorous soldier and was selected to become the new governor of New France by King Louis XIV.

    De Frontenac had a single key goal as governor: make New France as glorious as the old one. Upon claiming the powers vested in him by the King, he began a vigorous series of reforms based on nothing more than his own theories of government. He began by organizing a series of committees consisting of noblemen, clergymen and citizens - the three most powerful factions of society in France - who could aid in the management of the colony. He built a massive fortress in the western frontier country of Quebec to help fortify that unsettled region. He even arranged for public elections to allow Quebec's citizens to have a say in their municipal government.

    And while many of his efforts pleased great swathes of society, his headstrong methods angered many others. His democratic efforts would be particularly short-lived: upon hearing of them, the King immediately ordered the elections ended. By 1682, de Frontenac had ostracized nearly all the major officials in Quebec's government and the King had no recourse but to summon his wayward governor back to France.

    Over the next seven years, increasing raids by the Iroquois against Quebec brought the young colony to its knees. In a bold move, the King decided to restore de Frontenac to his position as governor and to allow the life-long soldier and statesman another chance to prove his worth.

    And prove it de Frontenac did.

    Returned at last to Quebec, de Frontenac not only halted the Iroquois raids, but he also captured much territory of the English - the allies of the Iroquois - expanding New France to a previously unattainable size and power. He sacked three English forts in what are today New York, Maine and New Hampshire, claimed Newfoundland in the name of the King and seized all English territory around the Hudson Bay. In only nine years, de Frontenac had managed to not only save Quebec, but turned it into the most powerful colony in North America. He died on November 28th, 1698, known to all as the savior of New France.

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