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Lecture 6

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HIST 124
Steven J Maynard

Week 6- Je me souviens: Myth and Memory, Conquest and Compromise 15 October, 2012 I. The Conquest as Myth and Memory A. Wolfe: The “Dauntless Hero”? -Sept 13, 1759 -didn’t look like a hero and also was afraid of not living up to his parents’ expectations -thought he was dying of consumption -neurotic, haunted with night thoughts -In charge of leading expedition up St Lawrence to capture Quebec -expected to be welcomed by habitants who want to escape their seigneurs -said he had not come to destroy but merely subdue and bring them into subjection of the king of England -habitants sent their families into the fort to protect them, men gather into an army and harass the English -Wolfe send another proclamation: the coming of violent measures and then burns their houses and crops -spends months trying to get French to come out, bombs them -Sept 17, 1759: he was desperate, took a risk: plan was to take army across the river with bombs and guns and scaled the cliff/walls and assemble in cornfield (Plains of Abraham) -Montcalme marches troops outside and in 15 minutes English won -Wolfe and Montcalme both die B. “Je me souviens”: French Memory of the Conquest - Je me souviens = I remember -conquest was originary moment in long history of oppression to come - call to Quebec nation to remember C. “The Death of General Wolfe” -Muir wrote in 1867, the Maple Leaf Forever, “Wolfe the Dauntless Hero” - “The Death of General Wolfe” by Benjamin West in 1770, most famous historical painting of 18 C -complete fabrication, Wolfe hated Natives, made the scene look heroic II. The Conquest as Socio-Economic Process A. The Difference Demography Makes -7000 French in New France - low result -in 1640, almost 60,000 people leave England for Canada -demographic swamping, French were vastly outnumbered by the English B. Enclosures, Clearances, and the Capitalist Transformation of Europe -peasants using land as they’d like, grow crops etc -enclosures: aristocrats put fences around the common land and declare it “private property” -Scottish are booted off their land, come to Canada -happens in France and in Britain, but French were more rebellious C. Differences between French and British State Formation -France has absolute monarchy, tight control over emigration -monarchy with slightly more limited powers, subject to parliament -France more about trade,
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