Cover: Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada, from Harvard University PressCover: Frenchmen into Peasants in HARDCOVER

Harvard Historical Studies 123

Frenchmen into Peasants

Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada

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Product Details


$86.50 • £69.95 • €78.00

ISBN 9780674323155

Publication Date: 08/01/1997


409 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

2 tables

Harvard Historical Studies


A solid and original migration study.—Dale Miquelon, American Historical Review

The historiography of French Canada places the greatest emphasis on those who settled definitively in the colony, especially the 8527 or so who are the ancestors of over six million French-Canadians today. Leslie Choquette redresses the balance in this useful study of the migrants as a while, revealing their origins in the mobile, urban trading centres of the French Atlantic ports… By placing the peopling of French North America in a broader metropolitan context, this study is a welcome addition to the historiography.—Colin M. Coates, English Historical Studies [UK]

Choquette’s research is impressive; she mined every available source on both sides of the Atlantic. Canadian sources include ecclesiastical records such as marriage contracts, lists of patients at the Hotel-Dieu of Québec, ‘testimonials of freedom at marriage’, intended to avoid bigamy, for example, among soldiers fighting in the Seven Years War, censuses and criminal records and official correspondence. She discusses the sources themselves (and certain problems in using them) with admirable precision… The goal of the study is ‘to situate emigration to Canada within the broad context of social, economic, cultural, and political life under the Ancien Régime’. This she accomplishes well.—John Merriman, French History [UK]

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

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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