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  Section title: French
Graphical element: French soldier   Introduction
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Introduction

When Jacques Cartier first came to the unexplored continent later called North America looking for a short cut to Asia's silks and spices in 1534, he hoped to find gold and precious metals. He didn't find gold, but he did find riches -- furs. The fur trade became the start of French exploration and settlement in the "new" continent. First came the fur traders themselves, who made money by trading for furs with the Native people. Then came settlers, hoping to claim the land for the king of France. As the French began to stay in this new, unexplored territory, more people came over from France -- farmers, carpenters, priests, nuns, workers and soldiers. The population grew and flourished. Today there are French-speaking people in every part of Canada, especially in Quebec.


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