Seeing Spain’s success with its colonies, other European countries started claiming territory in the Americas.
In 1534, Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River and claimed land for France. Today, that land is in Canada. He was among the first Europeans to trade for furs with Native Americans. Europeans liked fur and paid well for it—especially beaver fur, which could be made into waterproof hats.
The French went on to become early leaders in the North American fur trade. To succeed in this trade, the French needed to be friendly with the Native Americans, who did most of the fur trapping. Under Samuel de Champlain, the French formed alliances with the Wyandot (or Huron) people, the Algonquins, and other Native American groups