• 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

  • 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

  • No, Confederation Wasn’t About ‘Freedom’

    Shirley Tillotson Editors’ note: This essay is jointly posted with our partners at ActiveHistory.ca, and appeared in an earlier version as a Letter to the Editor in the National Post (Oct. 26, 2017). Fundraisers love anniversaries. They’re like birthdays, right? Presents can’t be far behind. But when it’s the anniversary of a death, it’s not so… Continue Reading