From the beginning of the sixteenth century, firearms heavily influenced the social and economic development of North America. They played a central, perhaps decisive, role in the fate of New France from European contact with Aboriginal peoples to frontier survival, and throughout the course of the fur trade.
For Bouchard, the early French colonists' small arms were nothing less than of'[une] utilite quotidienne De tout temps et de tout horizon, le Canadien a ete place directement en contact avec les armes afeu et il est difficile de!
The result is a work strong on information and short on analysis. It is organized topically, with chapters on the European provenance of the arms used in New France and the methods by which weapons were exported to, distributed in, and priced in the colony. Finally, the author provides a detailed accounting ofthe various weapons actually in use from to , from the arquebus to the musket to the flintlock. He liberally uses diagrams, sketches, and other illustrations providing considerable technical detail.
He also examines New France's firearms within the contexts of their military and hunting uses and as commodities traded in exchange for furs. The unique strategic and geographic conditions prevailing in underpopulated , militarily threatened New France meant that all classes, and not just the nobility as was the case in metropolitan France, could, and in fact were obliged to, bear arms for their own survival and for the military defence ofthe colony. This permissive policy was a crucial dividing line The Canadian Historical Review between the two societies, since arms use and ownership were strictly controlled in France.
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Bouchard cites this factor as the underpinning of cultural and social differentiation between Canadien and Franyais. Even the poorest habitant could own a hunting rifle, as arms traders and merchants were obliged by law to accept payment in kind for their wares. The gun was a symbol ofcolonial liberty not known to the non-military or non-aristocratic classes in France.
According to the census in New France, more than 6, firearms were privately held.
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Bouchard leaves the perhaps exaggerated impression that New France was an armed camp with few parallels. In fact, as he suggests, the militia remained woefully underarmed. In the Royal arsenals at Quebec, Montreal, and Trois-Rivieres contained a further lo,ooo firearms, though they were of many different styles, manufacture, and calibres.
Not all were suitable for the battle line. Although Kennedy's graduate supervisor, William Irvine, is part of this revisionist school, and although Reconciling France against Democracy is a revised version of Kennedy's doctoral dissertation, Kennedy backs away from the revisionist line in favour of a synthesis. Instead he calls them 'authoritarian nationalist' and 'indisputable anti-democratic,' and he does accept the revisionist contention that they were hardly benign in their threat to the parliamentary republic.
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On the whole, however, Kennedy is tired of the debate over French fascism and classification of the 'leagues. La Rocque, he contends, was far from being the empty suit that has sometimes been portrayed, and Kennedy suggests that he was a capable organizer and an adaptable strategist.
Kennedy asserts that there was Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.