In This Remote Country: French Colonial Culture in the Anglo-American Imagination, 1780-1860

Overview

When Anglo-Americans looked west after the Revolution, they hoped to see a blank slate upon which to build their continental republic. However, French settlers had inhabited the territory stretching from Ohio to Oregon for over a century, blending into Native American networks, economies, and communities. Images of these French settlers saturated nearly every American text concerned with the West. Watts argues that these representations of French colonial culture—in works by writers such as George Bancroft, ...

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Overview

When Anglo-Americans looked west after the Revolution, they hoped to see a blank slate upon which to build their continental republic. However, French settlers had inhabited the territory stretching from Ohio to Oregon for over a century, blending into Native American networks, economies, and communities. Images of these French settlers saturated nearly every American text concerned with the West. Watts argues that these representations of French colonial culture—in works by writers such as George Bancroft, Francis Parkman, Margaret Fuller, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow—played a significant role in developing the identity of the new nation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[An] intriguing book. . . . A remarkable array of nineteenth-century sources. . . . An especially rich analysis."
Indiana Magazine of History

"A major contribution to contemporary scholarship. . . . A fascinating and authoritative study."
Journal of American Studies

"Beautifully written and rich both in original research and in cogent critiques of U.S. imperialist ideology."
Modern Philology

"Packed with many stimulating insights. . . . Watts has something important to say to a very wide audience. . . A powerful argument about the importance of colonial representations in a postcolonial world."
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

"[An] intriguing book. . . . A remarkable array of nineteenth-century sources. . . . An especially rich analysis."

— Indiana Magazine of History

"A major contribution to contemporary scholarship. . . . A fascinating and authoritative study."

— Journal of American Studies

"Burgeoning interest in early modern France's colonial enterprise is enhanced by [this] . . . study. . . . Original."
American Historical Review

"Offers a compelling analysis of US expansion to and gradual hegemony in the old Northwest and the Mississippi River Valley."
CHOICE

"A remarkable contribution. It deserves a wide readership among scholars of nineteenth-century literature and historians."
Michigan Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807857625
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2006
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Watts is professor of English at Michigan State University. He is author or coeditor of four books, including An American Colony: Regionalism and the Roots of Midwestern Culture.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : the word paisable 1
1 The leaden plates : exploration and ownership 23
2 Habitants and the American way of doing things 55
3 Gentle as a woman, though braver than a lion : voyageurs, Coureurs de Bois, and American masculinities 91
4 Monstrous exceptions : Anglo patriarchs, French families, and Metis Americans 129
5 Nous Autres Catholiques : nativism and the memory of the Jesuits 181
Conclusion : such were the place, and the kind of people 219
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