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Late 17th Century and 18th Century France
Transcript of Late 17th Century and 18th Century France
18th Century France By: Ryann Efinger What was life like? Where did they settle? Why did they leave? How many came? In 1700, France's population was 20 million, but there was a huge population growth during this century. By 1800, there had been a 50% increase in population (30 million.) When Louis XIV died in 1715, the effect of his policy of national grandeur appeared to be disaster. The nation's finances were in such a dire state that Louis' descendants remained weakened by financial constraints throughout the 18th century.
Industry and commerce were in chaos. The population was declining. In years of bad harvest there was famine. The king himself, by the end, was extremely unpopular. Life was crushingly hard, and everyone was heavily taxed.There were no roads, trains or cars, just horses, carts and coaches. Life expectancy was low. Public health was an unknown concept. Cities were death traps, especially in slum areas which followed no building code and had poor or no sanitation. The last major outbreak of bubonic plague had occurred in London, followed by the Great Fire.
Life was so hard and mean that most citizens chose to spend much of their lives drunk. Bread was a staple food, if you could get it. All the best people ate WHITE bread. Only poor people ate grain or bran bread. So, to meet the demand, some enterprising British "bakers" used bleach to turn brown bread white and sell it for more money.
Toilet paper was not yet invented. In fact, even today, especially in French camp grounds, a toilet is a hole in the ground with two places to plant your feet and squat. The only difference between such a toilet and a shower is the height at which the water is.
And in 60 years the citizens ripped up the cobblestones to use as missiles, barricaded the narrow streets and turned Paris into a revolutionary fortress until Napoleon rose to the top and threatened to conquer Europe. Significant emigration of mainly Roman Catholic French populations led to the settlement of the Province of Acadia, Canada (New France) and Louisiana, all French possessions, as well as colonies in the West Indies, Mascarene islands and Africa.
On 31 December 1687 a community of French Huguenots settled in South Africa. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but quickly absorbed into the Afrikaner population. After Champlain's founding of Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of New France. Encouraging settlement was difficult, and while some immigration did occur, by 1763 New France only had a population of some 65,000. From 1713 to 1787, 30,000 colonists immigrated from France to the St. Domingue. In 1805, when the French were forced out of St. Domingue (Haiti) 35,000 French settlers were given lands in Cuba.