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Jean-Baptiste de Beaumont-le-Vicomte or the story about New France

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Stories & Tales' started by Johan de Witt, May 14, 2010.

  1. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    Jean-Baptiste de Beaumont-le-Vicomte or the story about how the French colonized the Americas.

    The voyage:
    The year was 1532, spring. The waves crashed against the hull, the beating sound like the slow drums of a slave-galley. The oil-lamp creaked as the rope it hung from, followed the motion of the ship. They’ve had gale-force winds for weeks now and there was no telling whether they were still on course, on course for what? All Jean knew were the stories about how Christobal Columbus reached a new world, a world full of riches and wonders. It were these stories that led Jean to gather his family fortune and join the crew of Jaques Cartier, the explorer from Brittany.

    Jean-Baptiste was a nobleman, nephew to Pièrre, Duc de Beamont-le-Vicomte. During his early life, he fought in the army of the Duke, mostly in direct command from the King. It was here that Jean learned most of the things that later made him so successful during the first important years after the founding of New-France. His profession a soldier, he was welcomed to the expedition by Cartier who knew he could rely on the de Beamont-le-Vicomte family’s tactical knowledge and friendship as almost half of the expedition’s costs was paid by Jean’s uncle.

    The crew had been restless when the weather had worsened, they never expressed much faith in Cartier’s skills to circumnavigate the great sea, but the endless months of isolation from the rest of the world was starting to take its toll. Jacques has tasked Jean to maintain order on the “Le Licorne”, one of the four ships that had set sail from Le Havre. Mutiny almost broke out when the “Le Dragon rouge” was so badly damaged in this rough weather that they had to leave it behind and divide her crew over the other three ships. It was Jean’s inspirational speech (much like the one he had given before the assault on Le Puy-en-Velay) that relaxed the tension on their ship.

    It was a Thursday, the 14th of April 1532 when one of the crewmen on “Le Dragon rouge” spotted land. It couldn’t have been a better timing, as most of the rations on the ship were depleted. The weather was still rough and they had a hard time to find a suitable place to anchor the ship, but they got a good look on the beaches as they found their way into the bay that was later called “Baie de Cartier”. This bay was deep enough for the ships to get within tens of meters from the coast. They could see the thick forests that enveloped the plain around the bay and not far from the forest’s edge, they saw a cluttering of tents. Anxious to see if these were the fabled Chinese Jean had read about in Marco Polo’s reports, Jean quickly led a group of his soldiers to the barges and they landed on the beach. It was this first meeting between Jean-Baptiste, Jacques Cartier and the local chief of this Colorado tribe that so defined the future of New-France. The chief, Guillome de Coloradas as the French called him, was friendly to the colonists which returned this friendliness. A statue of Guillome can be found on the market square in the bay-area of present-day Quebec.

    As the colonists had begun settling Quebec, a rather large portion of them joined the Indian tribe to learn from them the ways of the Colorado. As Cartier set off the explore the lands around their first colony, he left command to Jean-Baptiste, promoting him to governor of New-France. It had been clear from the beginning, that Jacques had no intention of leading his people, he had only come to the new world to explore. In the years that followed, Jacques would revisit Quebec on several occasions, always laden with gems and precious metals from the various tribes that lived in-land. Jacques however, would never return to France. Charged with the day-to-day command over the colonists, Jean quickly appointed the captain of the “Le Lion” (Bertrand de Coulomb) as his commander over the fleet. At that point it was a modest task, but the de Coulomb family held this office for nearly a hundred and fifty years before the fleet was officially under the administration of the Quebec admiralty. At first, Bertrand was tasked with hauling over new immigrants from the old world. When they had left, the reformation in Europe was in full swing and the French crown didn’t respond kindly to the protestant Huguenots. It was Bertrand’s task to bring as many religious refugees to New-France as possible.

    Shortly after their first visit, Jean returned to the Colorado village.
     
  2. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The blood bond:

    The sun shone through the flat leaves of the palm trees. It was a hot day, blistering rays of light and the constant trembling of air around him made everything hazy. Slowly, Jean’s horse made its way through the undergrowth. Soon, he wouldn’t be able to go any further on horseback and had to continue his journey on foot. He jumped off the sweaty back, his boots delved into the sand and he had to keep a palm leaf from striking his face. The horse moved its head to shake away the mosquitoes that had been plaguing them since they set foot on this continent. Jean had already sent his physician ahead of him as soon as he found out that most of Guillome’s men had fallen ill. He gave his horse a pat on the back; she should be able to find the way back to their colony.

    The sand cracked under his boot as he worked his way through the dense undergrowth. The trees got bigger and more sturdy as he went on, he paused a moment to examine one. Their biggest problem since they founded Quebec was that there wasn’t a lot of wood directly around the settlement. Though they were granted the right to scavenge for wood by the Colorados, it was negatively affecting the construction of their church. Jean decided to send whatever Bertrand de Coulomb brought back from the motherland, further inland to form a logging-camp. Soon, he reached the outskirts of the camp and was welcomed by the Indian braves. The situation was direr than he had imagined, the camp was rifled with sick and dying people. He greeted Guillome who had come to meet him. Guillome had learned some French and the scouts that joined Jean’s group of soldiers as a welcome gift from the Colorado, had taught Jean some of their native tongue, enough for the two to communicate on a basic level.

    It was a common flu that had struck the natives. Luckily, Jacques did bother to bring a lot of medicine from home, so there was quite enough within Quebec. The medicine was quickly supplied to the villagers and their priest held a special wake over the sick villagers. It is still unclear what happened exactly those days, but miraculously, most of the villagers recovered and in thank to their help, the first official bond was sealed between the French en the Colorado tribe. For this occasion, the Magnas Coloradas, the leader of all Colorado tribes was summoned to the village. Jean and the Colorado chief Guillome formed a blood bond. From that day on, all Colorado Indians were officially welcome within the palisades of Quebec and all French colonists were seen as brothers to the Colorado. This greatly encouraged the merging of the two cultures, which in turn was the cause of the lasting peace between the French and the Colorado. As thanks to their help, the Colorado welcomed a reformed missionary into their midst and from that day on, most of the know Colorado villages were or became reformed.

    Jean had remained within the village for the entire time and made notes about everything he saw or encountered. These works are now within the Royal archives in Montreal, near the obelisk from the first French-Spanish war.

    In the autumn of 1546, the first ship returned from France, escorted by a Royal galleon.
     
  3. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The founding of Montreal:

    The return of Bertand was a happy one; he brought with him four ships laden with trading goods and religious refugees. As soon as the colonists landed, they were personally greeted by Jean-Baptiste and briefed about the current situation with the colony. A large portion of the bay-area around Quebec had been plowed and a plantation was founded where French and converted Colorado were working side-by-side to harvest tobacco. Bertrand had brought with him detailed works about prices around the ports of Europe and news from all over the continent. Bertrand had met a very interesting person while he was in Europe, a man called Jean Calvin, a visionary. He brought back scores of religious works by this man Calvin and many numerous other religious people. Among the colonists he brought back, was the brother of this Jean Calvin, Antoine Calvin. Antoine later became the head of the Calvinist church in New-France and many of the institutions so familiar to the New-French (later Guiana) Calvinist church, were founded by this priest.

    The Baie de Cartier was deep enough for the Royal French Galleon “Le Dauphin” to anchor to the docks of Quebec. This meant that the harbor was deep enough for a future construction of a shipwright. The reason for this Galleon to appear in the new world, were the stories about Indian treasures, brought back by Cartier. As the warehouse of Quebec was indeed full of precious minerals, Jean-Baptiste ordered his men to fill the “Le Dauphin”, which later became the saying “You can never fill the Dauphin enough”, meaning the French court was insatiable. The later taxes raised by the King reached near 99% and this inspired the revolutionary song “The hauling into the King’s Galleon”.

    Another bit of disturbing news reached Jean-Baptiste’s ears; the cities in the Low Countries had revolted against the Spanish crown. With their revolt, their representative, the German prince Guillome de Nassau d’Orange pledged his loyalty to the French crown which dragged the French crown into war with the Spanish and the Emperor (of the Holy Roman Empire). Also, it appeared that the Spanish had expanded their Carribean foothold and colonized the northern borders of the continent. This meant that the Spanish were not too far, so Jean charged Bertrand to use the income from the Indian treasures to purchase weapons in Europe.

    As had been his intention, Jean equipped a portion of the new colonists and tasked them with founding a new colony in-land to supply Quebec with much-needed wood. They were joined by a rather large group of Guillome de Colorado’s men who had converted to Calvinism. Jean-Baptiste had explained to them that the most important part of their expedition was to befriend and convert the Colorado tribes deeper in-land. To this end, he sent one of his priests and a physician with them because he didn’t want to repeat what had happened in the other village. In the meantime, construction resumed on the church and docks in Quebec. Jean-Baptiste had a vision of creating a large ship wharf and a cathedral within his colony, so he commissioned his men to start mining the hills to the south. The now-depleted and abandoned Beaumont mines still bear Jean-Baptiste’s family name. These were once the engine for industrial growth during the mid-1600s and the Langustall arms factory is a remnant from this time.

    Soon, wood started flowing into Quebec on the Colorado river, just north of the New-French capital. This greatly increased the building capacity within Quebec and the Chuch of our Lord was completed in the summer of 1552, the first shipyard in the autumn of 1554. Soon, they started work on a large ironworks as the hills to the south appeared to be full of iron.

    1554 was also the year the first Spanish explorers visited Quebec.
     
  4. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The arrival of the Flemish:

    During the winter of 1554, which just meant wetter days because it was always warm within the new world, an Italian nobleman in the service of Spain visited Quebec. From the start, it was an uneasy welcome as both states were officially at war. The Italian, called Gino Bertomollo, scoffed at the relationship Jean-Baptiste and the Colorado Indians had, his visit ended in a fight and his report to the under king of New-Spain could not have been a positive one.

    1555 was a much better year to New-France as increasing numbers of converted Colorado Indians from all over the jungle came to join the settlers and the fields of Quebec had expanded much in these years. Bertrand returned from the old world with good hopes, they had purchased large amounts of arms and cannon from the Low Countries. Also, he had a lot of Huguenots from the Low Countries among which a young entrepreneur called Johaen l’Oldebarneveldt. This l’Oldebarneveldt was a learned administrator and therefore charged with the governing of the city of Quebec. This gave Jean-Baptiste the time to focus on further expanding the colonies and increasing the relationships with the Colorado, the newly discovered Tupi that lived within the dense rain-forest and the Sioux from the plains far in the south.

    Within the group of Flemish Huguenots were also two notable priests who took residence within the church and supervised the construction of the new cathedral. Antoine Calvin was then free to work on the new institutions for the New-French Calvinist church and the writing of the French Guiana-bible. This later formed the basis for many of the laws in early Guiana. Jean took a large group of colonists and moved up the Colorado river north into the rainforest. Here, they founded the settlements of Cayenne and Martinique. They were built in the Indian fashion and were never fortified. Because Jean knew the Spanish were close, he sent off most of his soldiers to the surrounding Indian villages to train together with the Colorado. These regiments were to be called the Colorado legions and many Indians served within its ranks. This also led to the defensive pact with all twelve Colorado tribes and in turn, to the first Franco-Spanish war in the new world.

    The jungle around Cayenne and Martinique were found to be most suitable for sugarcane and in time, large portions of jungle were leveled to create massive sugar plantations. The tension that rose between the colonists and the Indians was only removed by massive land-gifts to the Indians and in the end, the marriage between Jean-Baptiste and the daughter of the Magnas Coloradas. This marriage was a fruitful one, as they had three sons and a daughter.

    In 1569, Jean-Baptiste died. The councils of Quebec, Montreal, Cayenne, Martinique and the four Colorado tribes that lived within the borders of New-France chose Jean’s son Patrice as the new governor. As Patrice was only 6 years old when he was elected, the colonies were ruled by l’Oldebarneveldt.

    Then braves from the northernmost two Colorado tribes came looking for refuge within Cayenne, chased off by marauding Spanish troops deep within the jungle.
     
  5. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The first Franco-Spanish war:

    The Spanish aggression finally reached the borders of the New-French colonies in the summer of 1572. There were countless reports of Spanish troops harassing the northern Colorado tribes and one of their villages was burned to the ground. The French scouts and Colorado legion first clashed with the Spanish expeditionary force near Havana, nothing more than a fort along the Isabella river, a river that flowed from the mountains inland to the north eastern coast where the palace of the Spanish Viceroy stood and the town of Isabella lay.

    L’Oldebarneveldt was already an old man when reports of the border clashes reached him. As the military control of the colonies was officially in his hands, the Magnas Colorado send the request for all-out war on the Spanish colonies to him. L’Oldebarneveldt was at that time busy with leading the colonists north along the coast where they had just founded Guadeloupe, which was supposed to be a city to match the size of Quebec. L’Oldebarneveldt did not hesitate a moment, remembering the war against the Spanish that made him fled the old world. He immediately placed the newly arrived Louis Lefèvre, a Huguenot general who led the 2nd Dutch war for independence from Liège. Louis was a military mastermind who had succeeded in toppling the Prince-Bishop of Liège and almost defeated the army of the French crown in the battle of Leuven. It was unknown to the crown that he had fled to the colonies and would they know, it might have prematurely forced an intervention by the king in New-France. But for now, L’Oldebarneveldt had a great general at his command.
    Having already served the Colorado legion and commanding a rather big amount of cannons freshly brought in from the old world, Lefèvre started his campaign during the wet season. The Spanish troops were mostly quartered within fort San Salvador, the closest fort to Cayenne and only just east of fort Havanna. General Lefèvre used this initiative to his advantage and as the only Spanish forces outside the fort were far to the west, fighting Magnas Coloradas’ forces, Lefèvre had a clear and undisturbed march all to way to the walls of fort San Salvador. The siege of San Salvador lasted only a month as the defenders quickly got weary and surrendered to the French colonial forces.

    Lefèvre showed no mercy to the defenders and most soldiers were executed, leaving only the enslaved Indians and some of the inhabitants alive. His troops quickly marched on to Isabella, to which the way now lay open. A series of small battles and skirmishes followed and by the time Lefèvre entered the gates of Isabella, he had lost half of his troops. The rest of the season, Lefèvre’s troops were busy reinstating order and purging Isabella. Most of the inhabitants of Isabella fled west towards the harbor-city of Veracruz. Up until the war of independence, the northern Spanish cities never recovered from this blow and would remain in the shadow of the strong industrial cities of the south.

    Between Isabella and Veracruz lay a large flat deforested area. In this area, Lefèvre fought his last battle, known as the battle for the Guiana plains, which later gave the new republic its name. Lefèvre’s forces were mainly trained for battle within the jungles and sieging the Spanish fortresses, while the Spanish dragoons were masters of the field. While Lefèvre’s forces were not defeated, he himself fell in the battle, supposedly while fighting in the frontline against a cavalry charge. Lefèvre’s troops retreated to Isabella where the Magnas Colorado himself took over command and with Lefèvres staff, came up with the battle plan to break the Spanish resistance. The Indian troops harassed the Spanish troops near Havanna, while Magnas Colorado and the French army marched upon Veracruz, burning all before them. When Veracruz fell after a five month siege, not much was left of this once wonderful city. The French troops wheeled back into the jungle to defeat the last and isolated Spanish defenders, cut off from supplies. Before the end of 1575, the last Spanish troops surrendered and French hegemony over the northern parts of southern America was a fact. Never would the Spanish colonial power ever threaten the French or main-land Indians again.
    The return of the body of Lefèvre to Quebec also marked the end of the Oldebarneveldt reign as Patrice de Beaumont-le-Vicomte had come of age and Johaen l’Oldebarneveldt spend the last years of his life with the founding of the Quebec university. The French king officially acknowledged the role Lefèvre played during the Franco-Spanish war and elevated him to knighthood. At that point though, the king steadily increased the taxes and his own forces out of fear of revolutionary sentiment in the colonies. This in the end led to the outrageous taxes of near 99% in the end.
    The English had expanded their North-American colony by the founding of a string of coastal cities south of Montreal, but they never clashed with the French colonies as the king of France and the king of England had officially divided the world in two.

    Patrice was a wholly different ruler and New-France did not look anything like what his father had left behind.
     
  6. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The consolidation of New-France:

    With the defeat of the Spanish in the north and the English colonies in the south, the people of New-France started to look to internal matters. One of the first laws Patrice made, was the “reorganization d’etat” or reorganization of the state. This is one of the earliest reports of the Colonials referring to New-France as a state. It was due to people like l’Oldebarneveldt and Lefèvre that this feeling of freedom started to root within the consciousness of the colonists. This reorganization law meant that the Colorado tribes were officially integrated within the New-French state. While many braves fled further west where they founded new settlement deeper in the jungle, many Indians joined the French cities as they had already been converted and integrated into the system of plantations.

    The reorganization law completely reformed the New-French state and propelled it forward. The inland colonies saw a steep increase in produce while the large harbor-cities of Quebec, Guadeloupe and Toronto evolved into busy commercial centers. The endless influx of refugees from the old world made sure there was no end to growth in New-France. Many inland colonies were founded as the frontier was pushed further inland. Near the end of Patrice’s rule, the French had founded a new colony south of the English possessions, into the plains on the southern tip of South America. These colonies produced cotton, clothes and silver and further propelled the New-French colonies into economic growth.

    When Patrice de Beaumont-le-Vicomte died in 1642 and his son Manuel de Beaumont-le-Vicomte was elected governor of the New-French state (at that point already regularly called Guiana), many settlements had grown into large sprawling cities with most plantations replaced by farms to feed the increasing populace. There were no less than four universities and three cathedrals, the Calvinist beliefs were firmly rooted into everyday life and the Quebec shipyard was steadily building its own fleet. In 1642, the Langustall arms factory was founded and in the end, it grew to become the major arms producer in the Guiana state. During the years up until 1662, the factory supplied all major settlements in the whole of Guiana with the arms it needed to gear up for war.

    War was inevitable, as the king had been steadily increasing the taxes which were 40% in 1636 and already climbed to 80% in 1657. Exports were almost useless for Guiana, as most of the profit went into the coffers of the crown. Ever since the Franco-Spanish war, the king had been increasing his armed forces steadily and by 1650, he already had an army 12 times that of the colonies. By 1658, the Colonial galleons no longer sailed for European harbors and trade was only conducted with the Indians and the English colony. This angered the French king and in 1661, he raised the taxes for the last time.

    In 1661, the official tax was 99%, the last straw for the state of Guiana.
     
  7. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The war of independence:

    In the spring of 1662 Manuel de Beaumont-le-Vicomte governor of Guiana and Magnas Colorado, declared independence from France and passed a series of laws to further bolster the state against the French expeditionary force. First, all Colorado Indians were declared true subjects of Guiana. This meant large groups of Native Americans formerly living on the bottom of society, were now fully incorporated into Guiana. Next was the armament law; every citizen of Guiana had the right to arm himself. The warehouses in every city were opened and arms handed out. This alone made the army swarm with conscripts from all over the land. The last important law was the separation of church and state; this meant that power remained in the de Beaumont-le-Vicomte hands. Both the Tupi and the Sioux were called on to defend the borders of the Guianan state, so if the king would land its troops to the north or the south, they would receive an early warning. The French colonists had been supplying all natives with arms and horses, so the king would find a lot of opposition if he did land there.

    With the lessons from the Franco-Spanish war learned, Manuel ordered his troops to set up within the jungles and hills that had remained near the large cities, while the dragoons and cannons were set-up within the fortress walls. The Guiana fleet set out to give an early warning if ships would close in on the shores. Guiana was now all set to take on the full force of the Royal army, which now only outnumbered the Colonial forces by three to one.

    On the 3rd of June 1665, the Royal troops were sighted just off the coast near Toronto. The Colonial fleet engaged the Royal fleet and despite major losses, managed to sink half of the initial assault. The ocean was littered with bodies when the Colonial fleet returned to Toronto. While the battle was a victory for the colonials, their fleet came home battered and diminished. It wasn’t until 1668 that the fleet was able to sail out again and never with the force it held in 1665.

    The remainder of the Royal fleet reached the shores near Toronto and foolishly tried to make a landing on Bogger’s head, a hilly and heavily forested area just north of Toronto. The fight that raged on here was one of the fiercest on the revolutionary war. The king’s troops, not used to this new environment, clashed into some of the most elite Colorado legions in one of the most difficult types of terrain possible. The Royal troops never made it more than a few miles inland as they were massacred within the forest. The statue of the general that led the defense is immortalized as a statue just off the coast near the harbor entrance of Toronto. This was a gift by the English crown to commemorate the independence war and the friendship between Guiana and England.

    After the massacre near Bogger’s head, the French Royal troops never again landed in rugged terrain. Whenever an invasion force beached, it was in the fields and this was exactly as Manuel’s generals had hoped for. Every batch of invaders was a sitting duck until they could find more defendable positions, which had all been taken by colonial militias. The crown landed troops from Toronto all the way down to St. Louis and the only successful campaign was the siege of St. Louis. The city of St. Louis, a farming hub just south of the Beaumont hills, fell in 1669. The Royal troops, at that point already almost defeated, took a stance near St. Louis. It was a city without walls, in a valley bordered to the east by the forests around Montreal, to the south by the English colonies which barred the French from movement and in the north by the valley of Lègure which ended in the Beaumont hills. The Beaumont hills were fortified by colonial troops as this was the southern defensive line before Quebec, a city that still managed to produce enough arms during the war to field another fourteen regiments.

    Within the Lègure fields, the last desperate battle was fought. At that point, the colonial army outnumbered the Royal expeditionary forces by at least eight to one. Manuel ordered what few dragoons he could muster into the Beaumont hills and sent both general de Flores and marshal de Pètarc within striking distance of Quebec.
    The battle of Lègure started with a cavalry charge, colonel Mertens wheeled two cavalry divisions and a division of auxiliary braves into the city of St. Louis, effectively cutting off the Royal forces. Earlier, the fleet had made some diversions which pulled most of the Royal Man-o-Wars away from the Bay of Cartier. The decisive charge was made by the mountaineers from the Beaumont hills led by Manuel himself. The surrounded and flailed Royal troops gave almost no opposition and the last of them were rounded up by the colonial forces.

    On the 26th of august 1671, the commander of the Royal French expeditionary army signed his defeat and the acknowledgment of Guiana as a sovereign state by the crown of France. The war in its former colony had bankrupted the French state and in the end, led to the French Revolution in 1789.
     
  8. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    The game:

    I hope you enjoyed this AAR. I sure enjoyed writing it.
    About the game I played, a South American map, my leader was De Champlain and the difficulty was Conquistador. I played a lot of games of Colonization and always, I either remained small and won the independence war, or I grew very large and I won with score but couldn’t become independent because the crown would get too strong. This game, I tried to grow very strong, have statesmen from the start to get all the nice founding fathers and still be able to defeat the king.

    I maintained my friendship with the Indians through the entire game, never clashed with any of them and dragged two Indian nations into the war with the King. My colony of Quebec ended up having a population of 25 (had three other cities with a population of 20+) and it produced over 100 muskets each day. The Royal army I defeated in the end numbered 79 infantry, 36 cavalry, around 50 artillery and 14 man-o-wars.

    If you have any questions or remarks… Please let me know.
     
  9. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Didn't mean to necropost, but this nice story really lacks pictures!

    P.S. I just noticed that the last post in this thread was EXACTLY 1 year ago :)
     

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