France flirted with the New World for years, but it took several attempts to make French settlement stick. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, French settlers finally managed to take hold of a wild and wealthy land and turn it into an influential colonial outpost. New France, as this land was once called, consisted of five colonies that covered a massive swath of North America, stretching from Hudson Bay in the north to the Gulf of Mexico in the south. The land became home to fur traders, state-sponsored brides, soldiers—and the indigenous people who had been there for thousands of years.
The intertwined lives of the people of 1690s New France are depicted in the upcoming National Geographic limited series