Royal New France
The French explorers Samuel de Champlain and Pierre de Monts created the first European settlement north of Florida in North America in 1604, starting on St.Croix Island (now in Maine) and following on Port-Royal, Acadia (now Nova Scotia). Champlain established a fortress on the site of the modern Quebec City in 1608. The first colonists found the Canadian climate difficult to cope with. Champlain made allies of the First Nation tribes the Algonquin, Montagnais and Huron which brought the colony into conflict with the Iroquois, their traditional enemies representing a group of other First Nations tribes. The Iroquois and the French finally agreed a peace treaty in 1701.
The chief trade at this time for both the settlers and the Aboriginal people was in fur, particularly beaver pelts which were exported to Europe. French leaders created a North American empire stretching down the east coast from Hudson Bay all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.