In Search of Empire

The French in the Americas, 1670–1730

by James Pritchard

The decades between 1670 and 1730 were the most formative in the history of the French colonies in the Americas. A sufficient number of migrants arrived from France and Africa to create settlements, establish economies of production, develop networks of exchange and trade, and adapt institutions of government and law to give substance and form to their resulting societies. Elusive Empire was the first full account of how during these years French settlers came to the Americas. It examines how they and thousands of African slaves together with Amerindians constructed settlements and produced and traded commodities for export. Bringing together much evidence, the author explores how the newly constructed societies and new economies, without precedent in France, interacted with the growing international violence in the Atlantic world in order to present a fresh perspective of the multifarious French colonizing experience in the Americas.
  • Cambridge University Press; January 2004
  • ISBN: 9780511162176
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: In Search of Empire
  • Author: James Pritchard
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"Some books become must-read classics that no serious student can ignore. James Pritchard's In Search of an Empire: The French in Americas, 1670-1730 will undoubtedly be such a book....[It] is an extremely well written book...This superb study of French colonization in America offers one of the very best introductions to the subject available today. No serious student of French America can afford to bypass this book."
- International Journal of Maritime History