Glenn from South Salem New York asks:

Although the broadcast did not mention it, it has been my understanding that the French were preferred by the First Nations because the Pope had urged Catholics to intermarry with the native peoples to create a stronger bond to the Church. Thus, the French were quickly related to the First Nations by blood. Also, the Jesuits were under orders to learn the Native languages and religions to promote Catholicism, convincing the First Nations that the French were more interested in them than were the English. What are your views?

Bob Bothwell responds:

The Jesuits did take an enlightened (for the period) view of their mission and placed high value on intellectual preparation for their task. I don 't think the Pope's admonition to intermarry had much of an impact on marriage habits, but certainly the absence of white or European women did. Once the English fur traders got going, they intermarried at the same rate and under the same circumstances Continueas the French, Catholic or Protestant.


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