Canada was Proclaimed as a French Territory

24 Jul 2019  Wed

On 24th July 1534, a French explorer Jacques Cartier landed at the Gaspe bay of Canada and proclaimed Canada as a French Territory.

In early 1534, Cartier was introduced to King Francis I by Jean Le Veneur, bishop of Saint-Malo. On April 20, 1534, Cartier set sail under a commission from the king, hoping to discover a western passage to the wealthy markets of Asia.

It took him twenty days to sail across the ocean and on 10th May he reached the parts of Newfoundland and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. However, these encountered were brief and did not yield a great impact. His third encounter took place on the shores of Gaspe Bay where on July 24, he planted a cross to claim the land for France.

Cartier was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. These he named "The Country of Canadas", after the Iroquois names for the two big settlements he saw at Stadacona (Quebec City) and at Hochelaga (Montreal Island).

Canadian Mint celebrated the 450th Anniversary of Cartier's landing on the Gaspe Peninsula with a base metal dollar a gold $100 coin in 1984. Designed by Hector Greville, the coin shows Jacques Cartier and a cross with the French coat of arms along with his navy fleet in the background on the Obverse side. The reverse shows the effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth.

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