Colonies, monarchy, empire and the French ancien régime
in Crowns and colonies
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This chapter studies the status of the overseas territories seized by the French during the early modern period. The attempts made by the Crown to establish settlements in America or elsewhere are matched with the enlargements of the kingdom of France made in Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This chapter also examines how the Crown asserted its sovereignty over its distant possessions and which powers it gave to its agents, in effect showing that these overseas territories could have been politically considered as a part of the kingdom. It demonstrates that the economic subordination, which characterised the French overseas territories, was progressively superimposed on them from the middle of the seventeenth century, representing a trend which ultimately constituted these territories as colonies.

Crowns and colonies

European monarchies and overseas empires

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