In Search of Empire: The French in the Americas, 1670-1730

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The decades between 1670 and 1730 were the most formative in the history of the French colonies in the Americas. In Search of Empire is the first full account of how French settlers came to the Americas during these years. It examines how they and thousands of African slaves together with Amerindians constructed settlements and produced and traded commodities for export. Bringing together much new evidence, the author explores how the newly constructed societies and new economies, without precedent in France, interacted with the growing international violence in the Atlantic world in order to present a fresh perspective of the multifarious French colonizing experience in the Americas.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Some books become must-read classics that no serious student can ignore. James Pritchard's In Search of an Empire: The French in Americas, 1670-1730 will undoubtedly be such a book....[It] is an extremely well written book...This superb study of French colonization in America offers one of the very best introductions to the subject available today. No serious student of French America can afford to bypass this book."
- International Journal of Maritime History

"This well-written work will become an indispensable reference for anyone interested in the history of France's first colonies."
- American Historical Review, Leslie Choquette

"This is an impressively researched work."
- The Journal of American History, John T. McGrath, Boston University, Massachusetts

"The author draws on archival findings as wells as scattered existing studies, and the book, with ample footnotes and an excellent bibliography, constitutes an invaluable resource for anyone interested in comparative colonialism."
- The Journal of Military History, Daniel A. Baugh, Cornell University

"...the author's grasp of a rich and wide-ranging recent historiography [makes this his] ... most ambitious book. Those who lecture to undergraduates in comparative European colonial history will find this particularly useful."
The Northern Mariner

"...highly informative... The author draws on archival findings as well as scattered existing studies, and the book, with ample footnotes and an excellent bibliography, constitutes an invaluable resource for anyone interested in comparative colonialism."
The Journal of Military History

"The book will appeal to schoalrs of French America interested in synthetic treatment of their field by a prominent historian and to readers who are particularly curious about topics that Pritchard handles especially well, such as maritime, economic and military-imperial aspects of French colonial history." The Journal of Modern History Paul Mapp, College of William and Mary

"Pritchard's meticulous dessection of colonial production alone seems certain to generate thousands of footnotes. We owe him a great debt for thsi thorough synthesis." - Christopher Hodson, University of Pennsylvania

"...the work is an essential interpretation of the French colonies and an important resource on many of the details of colonial administration and warfare." -Thomas J. Lappas, H-French-Colonial

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521711111
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/23/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 514
  • Sales rank: 1,199,757
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

James Pritchard is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Queen's University. He is the author of Louis XV's Navy, 1748–1762 (1987), and Anatomy of a Naval Disaster (1995), which was awarded the Keith Matthews Prize by the Canadian Nautical Research Society and received a John Lyman Book Award from the North American Society for Oceanic History.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps and Graphs
List of Tables
Dates, Weights, Measures, and Currency
List of Abbreviations
Pt. 1 Colonies Formed 1
1 Colonial Populations 3
2 Settlements and Societies 72
3 Production 123
4 Trade and Exchange 189
5 Government and Politics 230
Pt. 2 Colonies Defended 265
6 The Franco-Dutch War, 1672-1678 267
7 The Nine Years' War in America, 1688-1697 301
8 The War of the Spanish Succession in America, 1702-1713 358
9 Elusive Empire 402
App. 1 Estimated Population of French America by Race and Region, 1670-1730 423
App. 2 Slave Populations of the French West Indies, 1670-1730 428
App. 3 Provisional List of Colonial Administrators, 1670-1730 432
Bibliography 441
Index 473
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