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HIST 202 (65)
Lecture

HIST 202 – Life on the Land.docx

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Department
History
Course Code
HIST 202
Professor
Catherine Desbarats

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HIST 202 – Survey: Canada to 1867 (September 21 2011) Life on the Land – Notes Sulpicians  Order of priests who control the giant seigneury encompassing the entire island of Montreal Transforming forest into farmland  “Fell” the trees, cut down the trees to make land  Uses the wood as supplies to make a home  arpents of clearing – roughly equivalent to an acre or one-third of a hectare Make their money from crops and harvesting  Iroquoian crops o Corn, beans and squash  Wage work  Sales of firewood, eggs and produce in Montreal  Borrowed capital  Old World Staple and wheat The woman‟s role  In charge of the animals o A cow, the oxen, a sow and a dozen chicken  The kitchen garden  Family‟s supply of tobacco  She is vital in the family‟s wellbeing “An early stage in the emergence of the French-Canadian „habitant‟ class, a term which in the Canadian context came to designate landowning cultivators or peasants” (Life of the Land, 29)  Population growth was a continuous process of colonization that brought more and more territory under the plough throughout the French regime and beyond  Settlements stayed close to the water Property  Property was laid out in long, tin rectangles, going from the river to the forests  Roads were not needed due to the close quarters of houses  ** It was possible to have seigniorial tenure with irregular lots  High degree of uniformity in habitant farms  If there was excess farmland, it was usually used as a trust for the child for when they married Developments  Peasants had 1 or 2 horses, which some conventional people thought was too many for a peasant  Road network started to make an impact on how peasants travelled  Judgment on social hierarchy is smuggled into a useful observation on agricultural practice  New France was self-sufficient o Mostly subsisted entirely on the produce of their own farm Misunderstandings  Not a „closed‟ agrarian system  Habitants always drew on the outside world for some essential supplies  No „barter economy‟  Habitants habitually relied on credit, recorded in monetary terms  Rural household had to have something of value to sell to the outside o Urban markets  Self-sufficiency of the habitant household was not absolute  „Static‟ rural society; It was actually a highly dynamic configuration of household cells  Not socially isolated o Lots of visiting and socializing o Formal community institutions were largely lacking o There was no commune in the colony because no direct taxes were levied there o The parish was the only framework for local community Rules of Inherence  Laid down by the Custom of Paris  The law only conferred a claim on each heir, it did not require the literal division of property Parishes  Cure; residential priest  Looked like an authoritarian unit of administration  Set up on orders from the bishop and run by his delegate (the cure)  Cure was remunerated through the tithe  People tended to act as though the church and rectory were community halls, built by and for the use of local residents  Not exclusively a sacred place Disputes  Harm happened when the bishop interfered with the settled community arrangements by adjusting the parochial boundaries or ordering the relocation of a church  Other dispute centered on the vestry and its council of elected churchwardens (manguilliers)  The church was largely a creation of the habitants Seigneurs  Existed because the French government, like other colonial regimes of the time, sought to structure property relations so as to foster the emergence of a landed elite  Primarily clerical and noble  Offered the promise of long term security and aristocratic prestige and substantial revenues  Main benefit was rent o Specified in the title deed (concession) when the lot was first grant
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