Habitants and Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Montreal
Louise Dechêne uses the island of Montreal in the seventeenth century as a case study for an analysis of the establishment of colonial society, placing her findings in a broad historiographical context that also takes account of developments in Europe and America. Dechêne investigates the emergence of urban and rural communities shaped both by their French cultural background and by the new environment. Her work provides a wealth of information on immigration, trade and agriculture, social hierarchy, religion, and family life. Dechêne's work, when first published, constituted a major milestone in the development of methodology and use of sources. Her systematic examination of difficult and massive documentary collections blazed a number of new trails for other researchers. Her judicious blending of numerical data and "qualitative" findings makes this book one of the rare examples of "new history" that avoids the extremes of statistical abstraction and anecdotal antiquarianism. Habitants and Merchants in Seventeenth-Century Montreal won the Governor-General's Award and the Garneau Medal from the Canadian Historical Association when it first appeared in French.
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PART ONE THE POPULATION
The French Population
The Basic Features of the Trade
The Physical Setting
The Pattern of Settlement
Occupying the Land
PART FOUR THE SOCIETY
Weights and Measures
Running the Farm
The Agrarian Economy
Note on Manuscript Sources
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