With the coming of Cartier and Champlain to the coasts of the Maritimes and along the St Lawrence River, the first French settlements in North America were started and started to grow. France was making a concerted effort through the support of individuals and consortiums to encourage the exploration, colonization and exploitation of these new lands. The beginning was hard but slowly a society was transplanted, established and began to develop its own identity in Annapolis Royal, Quebec City, Montreal and many other towns and forts. Champlain was really the father of New France and covered enormous areas of Canada and the North-eastern U.S., while nurturing the French initiatives, befriending some native groups and fighting others. New France was born and grew into a unique nation which forms an important and vital part of the Canadian identity in the modern world.
The building of new France can be divided into two distinct phases. The first of these was the settlement and exploration of North America by chartered companies. These were companies that had been licensed by the crown to carry out a commercial activity and build up the French presence in North America. They failed to build a large vibrant society due to the fact that they had no incentive to do anything but conduct the business of their license. The second part of the development of New France began around 1663 when the crown intervened directly and began to encourage, incent and send settlers, support and resources to the settlements.