• 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

  • Hope and Despair in the Meghalayan Age

    Gregory Kennedy Note: This is the fourth in a series on environmental history and early modern history cross-posted with  NiCHE, the Network in Canadian History & Environment. Life as an academic often feels like constant movement between hope and despair. Hope that our research will have an impact, and be accepted our peers … despair at the latest… Continue Reading

  • New France and Indigenous Agency in the Hudson Bay Watershed

    Scott Berthelette Throughout the 1730s and 1740s, the French established a series of forts northwest of Lake Superior in present-day Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Minnesota, and North Dakota. French colonial officials hoped that these postes de l’Ouest, or Western Posts, would secure New France’s pick of prime northern furs, which would undermine the English dominance… Continue Reading