Sovereign Council of New France

From Academic Kids

The Sovereign Council of New France was a political body appointed by the King of France and consisting of a Governor General, an intendant and a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church. All were answering to the French Minister of the Marine. The members of the council were chosen as part of the French nobility.

The introduction of this government cancelled the contract with the Compagnie de la Nouvelle France which apparently, had failed to organize the establishement of thousands of colonists in America. The institution lasted from its introduction in 1663 to the fall of New France in 1760.

Composition

The Sovereign Council included nine officials who were fully responsible for all legislative, executive, and judicial matters.

  • The governor of this new regime was the direct representant of the king of France and was responsible for defense and diplomatic relations.
  • The intendant was responsible for economic affairs and trade, the administration of justice, finance, settlement and seigneurialism.
  • The bishop was in control of religious affairs which included charity, education, hospitals and the christianization of Amerindians.
  • The Captain of the Militia had the role of informing the inhabitants of the intendant's plans of development for the colony and to report on the concerns the people had.
  • Five councillors serving as the court of appeal as well as a governing body, and was the senior law court in the colony. In 1703, the number of councillors was increased to 12.

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