French Colonies

The French established their first colonies in North America in the 17th century, many in modern-day Canada. They were primarily designed to produce and provide goods such as furs and sugars for export.

The French also established forts, trading posts, and settlements in the areas surrounding the Great Lakes and up and down the Mississippi River, including the colony of Louisiana. The territory encompassed the modern-day states Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Idaho.

After the Treaty of Paris at the end of the French and Indian War (1763), the French surrendered Louisiana to the Spanish. They regained control of the colony in 1800, and three years later, Napoleon sold it to the young United States. This sale became known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Source: French Colonies
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