This is a sub-project for the Colonial Americas Master Project.
New France (French: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Spain and Great Britain in 1763. At its peak in 1712 (before the Treaty of Utrecht), the territory of New France extended from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains and from Hudson Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. The territory was then divided into five colonies, each with its own administration: Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland (Plaisance), and Louisiana. The Treaty of Utrecht resulted in the relinquishing of French claims to mainland Acadia, the Hudson Bay and Newfoundland, and the establishment of the colony of Île Royale (Cape Breton Island) as the successor to Acadia.
France ceded the rest of New France, except the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, to Great Britain and Spain at the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Seven Years War (the French and Indian War). Britain received the lands east of the Mississippi River, including Canada, Acadia, and parts of Louisiana, while Spain received the territory to the west – the larger portion of Louisiana. Spain returned its portion of Louisiana to France in 1800 under the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso, but French leader Napoleon Bonaparte sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, permanently ending French colonial efforts on the North American mainland.