• Reply to Benoît Grenier and Alain Laberge

    Allan Greer I am grateful to Benoît Grenier and Alain Laberge for having taken the trouble to read my book and comment on my short polemic, “There was no Seigneurial System.” Indeed, I’m doubly grateful since I relied heavily on the extensive and rigorous research of these two historians in preparing Property and Dispossession. Why… Continue Reading

  • Early-Modern Place Names in Today’s Canada

    [This is the third essay of the Borealia series on Cartography and Empire–on the many ways maps were employed in the contested imperial spaces of early modern North America.]  Lauren Beck The Geographic Names Board of Canada (GNBC) provides scholars with a database of place names that allows users to look up the location of a place name,… Continue Reading

  • La cartographie des routes impériales françaises: le cas du fleuve Saint-Laurent au XVIIIe siècle

    Çà et là, l’historiographie a rappelé le rôle singulier de la cartographie pratiquée dans un contexte colonial : offrir des connaissances géographiques aux dirigeants qui souhaitent asseoir leur emprise sur un territoire étranger. Les cartographes deviennent ainsi des agents bâtisseurs d’empire, déployant leur savoir-faire technique au profit d’un pouvoir impérial et d’un souverain lui-même très limité dans ses déplacements.

  • Mapping Land Tenure Pluralism in the St. Lawrence River Valley

    Julia Lewandoski [This essay kicks off a Borealia series on Cartography and Empire-on the many ways maps were employed in the contested imperial spaces of early modern North America.]  After the 1763 Peace of Paris, British officials embarked on an ambitious project to probe and depict the territories—many in reality still under indigenous sovereignty—that they now considered… Continue Reading

  • There was no Seigneurial System

    Allan Greer From elementary school books to encyclopedia entries to scholarly treatises, no work on New France is complete without a section on the “seigneurial system,” a phenomenon that supposedly shaped the agrarian society of this colony and set it apart from other colonial settlements.[1] Imposed upon Canada by absolutist France, so the story goes,… Continue Reading

  • Francophone Quebecers in Canada’s Odyssey: Pillar or Passengers?

    Peter H. Russell’s Canada’s Odyssey is a sweeping reconsideration of the foundations of Canada’s constitutional order that has garnered considerable attention and praise. This essay is the second in a three-part series assessing the book’s significance. Donald Fyson My comments focus on the pre-Confederation chapters of Peter Russell’s Canada’s Odyssey. I’ll concentrate on Quebec and… Continue Reading