Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.73

     challenging words:    overlord, self-sufficient, unmarried, earning, cutting, social, loyalty, better, fines, shortly, waterway, plentiful, backwoods, tracts, posts, provided
     content words:    North America, Three Rivers, Lawrence River, New World, New France, King Louis XIV, In Quebec

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By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     When France claimed the lands in North America, it was not so much for colonizing as it was for the fur trade. In spite of that, small settlements were begun around permanent trading posts like Quebec, and later at Three Rivers and Montreal.
2     In 1615, missionaries came and with them, more settlers. These people were some of the first to build farms on the land along the rivers. They had to be brave people, because it was dangerous for them to leave the safety of the settlement palisade. Native attacks could happen at any time. Work in the fields was always done in the safety of numbers.
3     The king of France decided that the best way to settle the land was in the giving of seigneuries. This was a feudal system long used in France. Large tracts of land were granted to an overlord or seigneur. He owed loyalty to the king. He in turn divided the land (usually along rivers) into long, narrow farms. Each one had access to a river. A waterway was faster to use than roads. The land along the St. Lawrence River was divided this way.
4     In addition to the farms, the lord provided other things. He built himself a manor house and provided a church and a mill for grinding grain for his people.

Paragraphs 5 to 15:
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