The Seven Years' War marked the final confrontation between France and England in North America. The civilian population was severely affected by the destruction of property, currency devaluation and food shortages. However, after the end of the war and Montréal's capitulation in 1760, the change in governance had little immediate impact on the everyday lives of most Canadians. Worried about their future, French government officials returned to France where they were obliged to defend their administrative actions. The colonial elite was able to choose to stay or leave, and this was the source of much soul searching and division among families. For those who returned to the home country, reintegration into French society was not easy. The nobles who remained, for the most part military officers, suffered from the dismantling of the colonial army and the loss of the many privileges associated with their position. French merchants now had to contend with rivals who arrived from England or other colonies. The clergy and members of the various religious orders were henceforth obliged to find their means of support in the New World and to define their relationship with the Protestant State. The loss of New France was of little consequence to the French population, since the European kingdom remained intact, although certain merchants and members of the government no doubt regretted the disappearance of this trade network.

Reactions to the English Conquest
Letter from François Marie Arouet (Voltaire),
September 6, 1762
CA ANC MG18-A3