Episode 24 – France Antarctique

We talk all about the first Huguenot attempt to establish a safe haven overseas, Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon’s colony of France Antarctique. Villegaignon, however, was a deeply flawed leader, and the colony soon fell to pieces as religious brawling supplanted productive activity. The Portuguese eventually rubbed out the colony, effectively in 1560 and entirely in 1567. But France Antarctique was only the beginning, and Coligny was determined to create a Huguenot haven in America.

Episode 23 – No Peace Beyond the Line

In this episode, we cover the French campaign of piracy against Spain and Portugal between the years 1521-1559. We talk about the legal dispute between France and Spain, in which Spain claimed absolute right over the Americas while France maintained the doctrine of effective occupation – basically that claims on a territory meant nothing if the area wasn’t effectively occupied. We then go on to talk a bit about the corsairs who so terorized the Spanish and Portuguese: Jean Fleury, Jean Alphonce, Roberval, and Francois LeClerc – the first recorded pirate to wear a peg-leg. We end with the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis (1559), in which the negotiators agreed that there was to be ‘no peace beyond the line’, or that no European peace treaty would be binding beyond the Canaries’ longitude and the Tropic of Cancer.

Episode 22 – In Search of Saguenay

In this episode, we talk about the three expeditions of Jacques Cartier, who discovered the St Lawrence River. We talk about the colony planted by Cartier (and later Roberval) on his third expedition, and we close off the episode with one of the great romantic stories of all time.

Episode 21 – Les Huguenots

In this episode we discuss the three primary motives for French expansion into the new world: commercial, geopolitical, and religious. Our primary focus is on this last motive, and we discuss the situation of the French Protestants, or Huguenots, from their beginnings in 1517 through 1558.

Episode 20 – Medium Rare, Please

In this episode, we begin to discuss the New Finland fisheries, and the failed attempt of the Portuguese Fagundes to plant a colony on Gnu-Phinland. After that, we discuss the voyages of Gomes and Verrazano, before returning one more time to Noof & Land to discuss John Rut’s pretty lame attempt to find the northwest passage and Master Hore’s Carnival Cruise (spoiler alert: you don’t want to use Master Hore for your party-planning needs). Oh, and there are cannibalism jokes. Just in case you’re at a dinner party that gets too boring or something.

Episode 19 – Those in Peril on the Sea

In this episode, we talk about the poorly-documented English voyages following John Cabot’s discovery of Newfoundland, the man who gave Greenland the name “Labrador” (No, I’m not drunk. Listen to the episode and it will make sense), and the unfortunate brothers Corte Real. We also take a look at Dighton Rock, and have some fun with conspiracy theories in the process.

Episode 16 – Cash Crops and Slavery

This episode wraps up our discussion of the Spanish Indies prior to 1561. We discuss the history of sugar as a cash crop, and how its cultivation brought about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We conclude our episode with a brief introduction of that plant which will be so important for Jamestown – tobacco.

Episode 15 – Luna the Lunatic

By the late 1550s, everyone, including the Dominicans, realized that something needed to be done about the Indians of Florida. In 1557, the newly crowned King Philip II of Spain ordered that two settlements be built, one on the Gulf Coast and the other in the Carolinas. Tristan de Luna y Arellano was put in command of the project. Luna’s expedition (1559-1561) was met by horrible luck, Luna himself went mad, and the entire expedition disintegrated into squabbling anarchy. In 1561, Luna was fired and Angel de Villafane took his place, but the project was unsalvageable. Following the final failure of the settlement, Philip II decided that he was through with Florida. Events, however, were soon to prove the necessity of a Spanish military presence in Florida.