A. Outline the focus of  your inquiry and provide background knowledge. Why is this an important and significant questions to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

 

Inquiry Question: How did the arrival of the “Filles du Roi” or “King’s Daughter’s” impact today’s French-Canadian society?

The Filles du Roi were a group of about 800 women who were among the poorest in France. They were sponsored by the King Louis XIV to immigrate to Canada (New France) between 1663-1673 in order to correct the gender imbalance and populate the land.

Image result for filles du roi

(image source: canadianencyclopedia.ca)

This is an important and significant question to ask about the past because the French-Canadian culture, as well as the population, that is apparent Canada were largely due to the arrival and settlement of these women. Without the Filles du Roi, New France’s population may have dwindled or died off due to the lack of females in the land. Canada would have have the thriving Francophone community it has today.

It is difficult to find primary sources of information on these women. as CBC.ca says: “There are very few first-hand accounts of the lives of the Filles du Roi. Few of them could read or write. Their histories have largely been told by subsequent generations. That said, one thing we know with absolute certainty: the Quebec we know today owes a lot to the fortitude of these incredibly tough women.”

 

Cause and Consequence: Why did your researched questions happen the way they did and what were the consequences?

In order to gain control of the fur trade along the St. Lawrence river, New France required a higher population. Their British competitors had a more open policy of who could arrive to the colonies from Britain, and had about 18 times as many settlers as New France. New France had a ban on Protestants coming to the new land.

Britain’s population grew while New France, which had one woman to every six men, was not.

Jean Talon, the Intendant of the colony, delevoped a plan with King Louis XIV to import women to the colony to marry male settlers. Most of the women were poor, many were orphaned. These women would become the Filles du Roi or “Daughters of the King”. One in ten of the women died on the journey, but around 800 survived to settle in New France.

Image result for filles du roi

(image source: fillesduroi.org)

 

Ethical Judgement: Is what happened right and fair by the values and standards of the time? How about from our current values and standards? Explain.

What happened was right and fair, according to the standards of the time. A majority of the women were relocated form a desolate, poor, orphaned life to one that held potential spouses, families, and a longer, richer one. Many were given a dowry of 50 livres (equivalent to around $1,000 today).

However, if this event were to be proposed today, there may be much more controversy surrounding it. In current Canadian culture, it may seem ethically unsound to pay people to pair off in such a calculated fashion. The proposition also perpetuates heteronormativity, and does not take into account possible LGBT members from both sides. In the 21st century in Canada, people generally marry for more complicated reasons than just reproduction. The model of the Filles du Roi puts the people involved in danger of abusive or unhealthy relationships that are difficult to escape. Additionally, one in ten women died on the voyage from France to New France (Canada). This would be frowned upon today – it’s expected that one people get on a ship, they should be able to get off the other side. There were fatalities in this event that would be considered tragic today.

The voyage reminded me of other minority groups in history who have been subjected to unsafe journeys across the sea in order to fulfill the desires of others. One example is the transatlantic slave trade, which also resulted in fatalities.  Though the quest and destiny of the Filles du Roi was different than that of slaves, I see a connection between their predicaments. I do not believe that the formation of the Filles du Roi would be looked upon as a good decision if it were to happen today.

Image result for slave trade

(image source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

B. What conclusions can you make about your questions based on the research your conducted?

 

Two thirds of the current French-Canadian population’s ancestry can be traced back to the Filles du Roi. in 2011, approximately 7.3 million people reported French as their native tongue in Canada, 7.9  spoke French at home on a regular basis. If we consider those 7.3 million people as the French-Canadian population, it would mean that 4.86 million French-Canadians can be traced back to the Filles du Roi. The 2016 population of Canada was 36.29 million. 4.86 million is about a seventh of the population – a noteworthy amount.

The arrival of the Filles du Roi impacted not only the current French-Canadian society, but Canadian society as a whole. After their arrival, the country experienced the biggest population growth in Canadian history. Thanks to them, the society was able to continue to grow and thrive. The Filles du Roi were an integral part of the growth of Canada’s people and their legacy should not and cannot be excluded from history.

 

 

Sources:

 

(Secondary source) La Societe de Filles du Roi et soldats du Carignan: https://fillesduroi.org/

(Secondary source) CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/2017/canadathestoryofus/most-french-canadians-are-descended-from-these-800-women-1.4029699

(Secondary source) The Canadian Encyclopedia: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/filles-du-roi/

(Seconadry source) New France: https://fillesduroiofnewfrance.weebly.com/filles-du-roi.html

  1. Great document of learning Phia! I thought you did a really good job of addressing each of the sections of the criteria in detail. Your post made it very clear which part of the criteria you were answering in each section, and in each section you had in depth answers that were easy to follow and articulate. I also thought that you did a great job of putting a lot of research in this post, and using multiple sources. You showed this by using some quotes in your blog post, and showing that you tried to find primary and secondary sources. Even though we had already seen a video showing a bit of the Kings Daughters, I learned a ton more from this blog post, and it was really interesting to read! I found it surprising that the Kings Daughters were considered right and fair to the values of the time, and this is where I made my connection to my project. I was looking into the laws of executions and punishment in the 1800’s, and I was amazed at what was considered ‘right’ at that time. In our projects, we both had to look past the values of 2018 and try to consider what life was like in the time we were researching. More of Thomas Scott’s execution was ‘fair’ than I thought, and I didn’t think the kings daughters would be fair at the time either!

  2. Your document of learning was great, Phia! You did a great job of organizing your document into distinct sections. That made your points very clear and your writing very easy to understand. This kind of organization is definitely something that I should try in future posts. You also did a great job of expanding on the knowledge that we had already learned from Canada: The Story of Us. The Filles du Roi was a topic that was covered in the show, but you managed to expand on the topic far beyond what had been covered before. As your blog post shows, the Filles du Roi vastly strengthened the French colonies in the New World. This directly connects to my inquiry topic, The Seven Years’ War. Although the Seven Years’ War did not begin until over 80 years after the Filles du Roi arrived in the New World, many of the French soldiers would have descended from these women. These women indirectly affected the Seven Years’ War and my inquiry project.

  3. Your blog post is very well structured and easy for me to understand Phia. One thing I liked is how you were able to explain the entire context of this historical in a way that made it easy for me to understand who the Filles du Roi were and the role they played. I have a much greater understanding of this now than I did before. Another thing I thought you did well was imparting our current beliefs on the past, but in a relatively unbiased way; you gave me the facts but didn’t try to force opinions on me, only tell me what they were. A connection I made is to the CPR and how I had to also understand the values of the time period and realized how often times, people can get manipulated and are seen as “tools” more so than people, but this was considered okay at the time

  4. Hi,

    I like how you went into great detail on your inquiry, and you provided lots of in-depth information that is engaging and interesting for us to read! You touched on all the parts, and did a great job of answering what the criteria asked you to do! I also liked how you provided exact numbers, because if you’d just said something like “a lot” then it definitely wouldn’t have been as impactful or interesting, because everyone thinks of “a lot” differently. For example, someone may call 100 a lot, and someone else may think 10,000. A connection to my inquiry is how the foundation of New France is what ultimately lead to the Filles du Roi having to come in the first place. If New France was never founded, there would’ve been no reason for the Filles du Roi to even come to Canada.

  5. Hi Phia!

    I looked at your investigation for inspiration when doing my own because we both chose to focus on the Filles du Roi. My first star for your investigation is that you chose images for your post that well represented the information you gave, like the one for the slave trade. It helped me better understand the context of your inquiry. My second star is your choice to consider the LGBTQ+ when investigating the Filles du Roi. It’s a very interesting perspective and really brings the comparison to the 21st century. In my own inquiry, I chose to talk about gender inequality for my “Continuity and Change” question. I think that both our posts make it apparent that the Filles du Roi can be compared to many modern day issues, and that what happened to them in the New World may not have been the best thing for the women themselves, but certainly helped pave the path for a flourishing country and populace.

    Great investigation!
    – Ashley

  6. Phia,
    I looked at your investigation since my question was similar. I really liked how well you described the reasons for the Filles du Roi and how cohesively you went over their background. I also liked how you cohesively described the significance of the Filles du Roi. Your investigation connects to my own since I also covered the cause and consequence of the Filles du Roi.

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