New France was a new world far from home. Today Canada may be a hotspot for immigration, but back in the 17th century it was far from being an ideal land to start a new life. Despite various forms of persuasion and tactics, France had an incredibly difficult time colonizing Canada for many decades primarily due to the idea of emigration and the reluctance revolving around it.
The act of leaving one’s country to settle in a new or foreign one can be quite daunting. The consideration of many points, both good and bad, would need to be taken into account before doing so. Factoring the length of time it takes to travel to a destination by ship, and the various misfortunes entailed with such a trip, one could say that the voyage itself “could have been a deterrent to migration” (Moogk 468). Apart from the physical journey, to “dislodge people from home and familiar surroundings” (Moogk 470), would be enough reason to cause individuals or families to be reluctant to colonize New France. But even with these hardships involved with emigration, the benefits of moving can be quite appealing. At the time of recruitment, parts of France were facing great hardship in the forms of “hunger and unemployment” (Moogk 470). It is no wonder that it was during these times that there were peaks in recruiting engagés (indentured workers) for colony work. People were given a means of escape to a new land, and from there start anew. Offerings of “free land and settlement bounties” (Moogk 475), were offered to those willing to become colonists. Some disadvantages of emigration proved to be significant barriers to settlement. With all that said, the decision of emigration is a life changing one even to this day.
As mentioned earlier, various barriers hindered the settlement process considerably. The most apparent barrier preventing settlement was to gathering people to go in the first place. People who understood the harshness of leaving home for unknown lands, thought...
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