GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2006-12 > 1166500580
From: "Dora Smith" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Any study on MexicoY-dna? arethey mostlyEuropean orIndian?
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 21:56:20 -0600
Thanks for clarifying that you did not mean to infer that French Canadian
history vanished, Ken.
I would point out however, that not all 1.5 million British colonists were
fighting in Quebec, and numbers do not account for the failure of French
military leaders to defend against obvious and repeated British strategy.
The historian I quoted thinks that it was the mode of thinking of French
military leaders that cost them Quebec. The quotation I provided
specifically examines how such a decision caused the French to lose
Montreal, which had to have been a key defeat.
Also, you're failing to look at population density. The St. Lawrence River
Valley was far more densely populated with people of French descent, then
any part of the British colonies outside of its largest cities. Those
70,000 people were doing pretty well for themselves. They did not go too
far afield for the same reason tha tthey did not defend against obvious and
repetitive British military strategies. It wasn't done. If one wanted
to argue that the colony was failing, one might point out that these
too-densely populated on worn out farms people were starving and scrabbling
for food in forests on pain of severe punishment because the forest land
belonged to I think the French King, who of course never set foot on it.
But this culture effectively prevented people from excercising enough
individual initiative to move west. It was quite remarkable. The British
tried to break up the medieval social organization of the French-Canadian
peasants, and the French just went proudly on with respecting and paying the
It is true that New France was never as successful as the French King who
developed it had hoped it would be. Moogk goes into this in some detail.
Once again, the medieval outlook of the "non-Protestant" segment of the
population got in the way, and it was particularly ironic because the entire
purpose of New France was to expand Catholic hegemony. Only Catholics in
good standing were allowed to go to New France, and the Catholic peasants
the colony depended on for its development were far too tied to their
medieval way of life in France, were too bound to tradition and collective
modes of thinking to take up and go to the New World, and consistenty with
those problems, thought that the New World was a savage, unappetizing place
populated by savages and criminals. It was as difficult to get people who
did agree to go there to agree to stay. In that time French peasants were
capable of migrating temporarily in search of work, but they intended to
return home when the season was over or whatever. The efforts the French
King went to were nothing short of amazing. Two major sources of the
emigration were a large military force who were sent to fight the Iroquois,
and then offered land and money to stay and settle; and a large recruitment
campaign involving orphan girls, many of them from convents in Paris, and
dowries from the King. This doesn't seem to ahve been well thought out.
The women carried out their roles, but it is evident that their background
had not left them in the best of health, and it gets better. The couples
were also given incentives to have alot of children, from land to money to
being banned from Communion if children were not produced sufficiently
often, and they had as many as two dozen children apiece. However,
typically half to two thirds of the children died. On the other hand, the
earliest peasant emigrants, who from a district called Perch on the border
of southern Normandy, were prosperous, travelled mainly in family units, and
got large grants of land, and though they also had around fifteen children
apiece, during their first generations, most of the children lived.
If a larger amount of New France had been populated, I think the war might
have been more interesting. :) I do believe that France's claim on
Canada covered alot more ground than the St. Lawrence River Valley - and
Acadia, and most of the land was basically unsettled, or, worse,
increasingly populated by Englishmen.
However, I get the impression that the battles of the French and Indian war
concentrated on key locations, such as the border area, strategic military
fortifications, the river and lake systems that connected with the St.
Lawrence, which extended through upstate New York, and important cities
along the St. Lawrence River, while most people, living in small settlements
in other locations on both sides of the border, mostly contended with spotty
conflicts with local Indians. In that context, military strategy had a
greater share of effect on the outcome than it would have if the fighting
had covered more ground. The outcome was really largely determined by
where colonists dragged their guns, and by where the two sides placed their
guns and their fortifications, and other strategical factors.
There was a serious cultural difference here. To deny this is to deny the
entire background of English and American political freedom and civil
liberties, adn the religious, social and economic forces that drove British
emigration to the New World. American and British people were accustomed
to think for themselves, and to think on their feet. The cultural
difference lives today and plays a key if hidden role in the anti-abortion
movement. I would hardly want my nephews to not understand the role their
father's French Canadian background plays in the way they are being
educated, in the entire way that family lives, and in their family's
The French Canadians themselves acknowledged these differences and played
up alleged negative consequences of Protestant individualism.
Even the woman who sits next to me at work, who married a French Canadian,
comes from Estonia, and has no particular religious views, finds the
groupthink orientation of her husband's family a major pain. Her husband's
parents dictate every aspect of their lives, and she is expected to go
along. My brother in law's family is exactly the same way. I have my
brother in law's mother telling me to ask my sister for permission to blow
my nose, or she'll ask for me, and his sister calling me up and telling me
how to handle the clams I just bought for Christmas clam chowder. She
observed that I was buying the clams more than a week before they were to be
eaten. "Are you planning to freeze them?" "No, I really wasn't. Spoiled
clams impart such a distinctive aroma to the soup." Actually I got them
It isn't only French-Canadians who play this political role in American
society. My boss, a first generation Polish Catholic, says that the Roman
Catholic Church also encouraged the development of cultural institutions and
Catholic schools in Polish urban communities. Instead of these groups
assimilating into American society in the usual manner, large, influential
pockets of medieval social and political thinking have been preserved.
But at teh moment I'm really basically most concerned about convincing Ken
that I do know something.
Ken, I'm curious. I've researched this in detail because my brother in law
is French Canadian. I've also spent 20 years of my life each in two parts
of upstate New York that were key battlegrounds in teh French and Indian
War. Maybe you've an active interest in the subject that I hadn't
suspected. How much reading on the history of French Canadians have you
done? Have you got any particular reason, beyond thinking it's morally
wrong to think that there are such things as religious and cultural
differences between nationalities, to think it was actually the relative
population sizes that lost France the war?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2006 9:46 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] Any study on MexicoY-dna? arethey mostlyEuropean
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Dora Smith" <>
>> Ken, you said the colony failed because it had such few numbers. That
>> not mean that its historical importance was insignificant?
> I said they lost a war. I am well-aware that Quebec is alive and
> well-populated today. In fact, the prime minister of Canada just declared
> that Quebec "is a nation" whatever that will ultimately mean beyond the
> 1760 population of New France --- about 70,000
> 1760 population of British Colonies --- about 1.4 million
> That's 20 to 1 Even if you grant some elements of military/strategic
> superiority to the French side of this conflict, and I can't think of one
> the moment (the British lined up some native-American allies as well),
> demographics was bound to favor a British victory. Both France and
> sent regular army and navy forces to the theater, but both sides also
> on their colonists to assist. Actually the British insisted that the
> colonists should continue to "assist" with higher taxes afterward, and
> was a big factor which led to the revolution.
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|Re: [DNA] Any study on MexicoY-dna? arethey mostlyEuropean orIndian? by "Dora Smith" <>|