When the monarch of
King Louis XIV took control of the colony of New France in 1663, one
of his strategies to increase settlement in the colony was to send over
single women to be married and start families.
Between 1663 and 1673, between 800 and 1,000 women, commonly known
as "les filles du roi" or the King's Girls, were shipped over to provide
wives for the largely male population of New France.
In 1663, after half a
century of occupation, the population of New France numbered scarcely
3,000. British colonies at the time had expanded to 100,000. This
prompted Louis XIV to put in place an aggressive immigration policy
and a series of incentives to encourage marriage and child bearing.