Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada

Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada

by Leslie P. Choquette

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Overview

In unprecedented detail, Leslie Choquette narrates the peopling of French Canada across the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the lesser known colonial phase of French migration. Drawing on French and Canadian archives, she carefully traces the precise origins of individual immigrants, describing them by gender, class, occupation, region, religion, age, and date of departure. Her archival work is impressive: of the more than 30,000 emigrants who embarked for Quebec and the Maritimes during the French Regime, nearly 16,000 are chronicled here.

In considering the pattern of emigration in the context of migration history, Choquette shows that, in many ways, the movement toward Canada occurred as a by-product of other, perennial movements, such as the rural exodus or interurban labor migrations. Overall, emigrants to Canada belonged to an outwardly turned and mobile sector of French society, and their migration took place during a phase of vigorous Atlantic expansion. They crossed the ocean to establish a subsistence economy and peasant society, traces of which lingered on into the twentieth century.

Because Choquette looks at the entire history of French migration to Canada—its social and economic aspects as well as its place in the larger history of migration—her work makes a remarkable contribution in the field of immigration history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674323155
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 08/01/1997
Series: Harvard Historical Studies , #123
Pages: 409
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Leslie P. Choquette is Associate Professor of History, Assumption College.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Peopling of French Canada

PART 1: MODERNITY

1. Regional Origins: Peasants or Frenchmen?

2. A Geography of Modernity: The Northwest

3. A Geography of Modernity: Non-Northwesterners and Women

4. An Urban Society: Class Structure and Occupational Distribution

5. Religious Diversity: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics

6. The Age of Adventure in an Age of Expansion

PART 2: TRADITION

7. Traditional Patterns of Mobility

8. A Traditional Movement: Northwestern Emigration to Canada

9. A Traditional Movement: Emigration Outside the Northwest

10. The Canadian System of Recruitment

Conclusion: Frenchmen into Peasants

Notes

Index

What People are Saying About This

Choquette's book fits squarely into a growing body of writing on geographical mobility in early modern history, especially on the peopling process of North America, and contributes significantly to that major field. The socioeconomic, regional, age, and gender analyses are significant, and establish new patterns. The regional mapping and distance analysis are also impressive. The analysis throughout is careful and elaborate, and the subject important...A notable monograph.

Bernard Bailyn

Choquette's book fits squarely into a growing body of writing on geographical mobility in early modern history, especially on the peopling process of North America, and contributes significantly to that major field. The socioeconomic, regional, age, and gender analyses are significant, and establish new patterns. The regional mapping and distance analysis are also impressive. The analysis throughout is careful and elaborate, and the subject important...A notable monograph.
Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University

Jon Butler

A superbly detailed study that offers the most complete, sweeping view of the peopling of French Canada now available and constitutes a model for careful yet imaginative investigations of emigration to all New World societies.
Jon Butler, Yale University

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