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Encyclopedia > Seigneurial system of New France

The seigneurial system of New France was the semi-feudal system of land distribution used in the colonies of New France. Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne; from a manuscript of a chanson de geste. ... -1... New France (French: la Nouvelle-France) describes the area colonized by France in North America during a period extending from the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River, by Jacques Cartier in 1534, to the cession of New France to the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1763. ...


The seigneurial stystem was a system for land distribution. The lands were arranged in long strips, called seigneuries, along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. Each piece of land belonged to the king of France and was maintained by the landlord, or seigneur. The seigneur divided the land further among his tenants, known as censitaires or habitants, who cleared the land, built houses and other buildings, and farmed the land. The habitants paid taxes to the seigneur (the cens et rentes, or "cents and rents"), and were usually required to work for their seigneur for three days per year, often building roads (the hated corvée). The seigneurial system was introduced to New France in 1627 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Saint Lawrence River (French: fleuve Saint-Laurent) is a large west-to-east flowing river in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. ... Corvée, or corvée labor, is a term used in feudal societies. ... New France (French: la Nouvelle-France) describes the area colonized by France in North America during a period extending from the exploration of the Saint Lawrence River, by Jacques Cartier in 1534, to the cession of New France to the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1763. ... Events A Dutch ship makes the first recorded sighting of the coast of South Australia. ... Cardinal Richelieu was the French chief minister from 1624 until his death. ...

Unlike the French feudalism from which it was derived the lord of the manor was not granted the "haut" or "bas" jurisdiction to impose fines and penalties as in Europe; those powers were given to the intendant of the king. World map showing Europe A satellite composite image of Europe Europe is one of the seven continents of the Earth. ... New France was governed by three rulers: the governor, the bishop and the intendant, all appointed by the King, and sent from France. ...

Seigneuries were often divided into a number of areas. There was a common area on the shore of the St. Lawrence river, behind which was the best land and the seigneur's estate itself. There was also one or more sets of farmland, not adjacent to the river, immediately behind the first set.

In France, seigneurs were vassals to the king, who granted them the deeds to the seigneuries. The seigneurial system differed somewhat from its counterpart in France; while in France it was a remnant of the feudal system, in New France it was used as an incentive for settlement and colonization. The seigneurs of New France were not always nobles. Seigneuries were granted to military officers, some were owned by the Catholic clergy and even by unions of local inhabitants. In 1663, half of the seigneuries of New France were managed by women. This situation came to be because a woman could inherit her husband's property after his death. Look up vassal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Coronation of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile at Reims in 1223; a miniature from the Grandes Chroniques de France, painted in the 1450s, kept at the National Library of France The monarchs of France ruled, first as kings and later as emperors, from the Middle Ages to 1848. ... Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root *fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. ... In economics, an incentive in anything that provides a motive for a particular course of action — that counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Colonialism. ... // Events Prix de Rome scholarship established for students of the arts. ...

In New France, the king was represented by his intendant; the first intendant of New France was Jean Talon, who made it a requirement that seigneurs actually live on their estates. It also allowed for increased control over settlement by a central authority. The seigneurs were never the real owners of their lands; they were concessions by the King in exchange for services. The seigneurs were responsible for building a mill and roads for the censitaires who were then responsible for working a number of days per year for the seigneur. New France was governed by three rulers: the governor, the bishop and the intendant, all appointed by the King, and sent from France. ... See also Marché Jean-Talon for the farmers market in Montreal, Canada. ...

After the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the conquest of Quebec by the British during the Seven Years' War, the system became an obstacle to colonization by British settlers. The Quebec Act of 1774 retained French civil law and therefore the seigneurial system. It remained relatively intact for almost a century; many Englishmen and Scotsmen purchased seigneuries; others were divided equally between male and female offspring; some were run by the widows of seigneurs as their children grew to adulthood. Combatants Britain France Commanders James Wolfe † Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm † Strength 4,800 regulars 4,000 regulars 300 militia Casualties 658 dead or wounded 644 dead or wounded The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, fought September 13, 1759, was a decisive battle of the North American theatre of... Combatants Kingdom of Prussia Kingdom of Great Britain Hanover Kingdom of Ireland Portugal Brunswick Hesse-Kassel Austria France Russia Sweden Spain Saxony The Seven Years War (1754 and 1756–1763), some of the theatres of which are called the Pomeranian War and the French and Indian War (see below), was... The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (citation 14 Geo. ... Chesma Column in Tsarskoe Selo, commemorating the end of the Russo-Turkish War. ...

When Quebec was divided in December 1791 between Lower Canada (today's Quebec) and Upper Canada (today's Ontario), a 45.7 km segment of the colonial boundary was drawn at the west edge of the westernmost seigneuries along the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, accounting for the small triangle of land that belongs to Quebec rather than Ontario.

The seigneurial system was formally abolished by the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada and assented to by Governor Lord Elgin on June 22nd 1854 in An Act for the Abolition of Feudal Rights and Duties in Lower Canada which was brought into effect on December 18 of that year. The act called for the creation of a special Seigneurial Court composed of all the justices of Lower Canada, which was presented a series of questions concerning the various economic and property rights that abolition would change. Some of the vestiges of this system of landowning continued into the twentieth century as some of the feudal rents continued to be collected. The system was finally abolished when the last residual rents were repurchased through a system of Québec provincial bonds. The Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada was the legislature for the Province of Canada, which consisted of the former provinces of Lower Canada, then known as Canada East and later the province of Quebec, and Upper Canada, then known as Canada West and later the province of Ontario. ... Are you kidding?, this is solid truth here, nothing escapes the eyes of Gov!!!, not even. ... James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine (July 20, 1811 – November 20, 1863) was a British colonial administrator and diplomat, best known as Governor General of the Province of Canada and Viceroy of India. ... June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 192 days remaining. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... In the Gregorian Calendar, December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years), at which point there will be 13 days remaining to the end of the year. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s The 20th century lasted from 1901 to 2000 in the Gregorian calendar (often from (1900 to 1999 in common usage). ... During the 1960s, a terrorist group known as the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) launched a decade of bombings, robberies and attacks on government offices. ...

Remnants of the seigneurial system can be seen today in maps and satellite imagery of Quebec, with the characteristic "long lot" land system still forming the basic shape of current farm fields and clearings. This form of land use can also be seen in such images of Louisiana, which also began life as a French colony with somewhat similar agricultural patterns. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

A comparable seigneurial system was the patroon system of heritable land holdings in the Hudson River Valley that was established by the Dutch West India Company. The Company granted seigneurial powers to the "patrons" who paid for the transport of settlers in New Netherlands. The system was not abolished by the English when they took possession of the Dutch holdings. The heirs of the patroons— bearing names like Schuyler, van Rensselaer, Pell, van Cortlandt, Livingston and Morris— dominated the colonial period and played major political roles in New York State even after the American Revolution. A patroon was a proprietor of a tract of land in the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland in North America. ... Image of the Hudson River taken by NASA. View of the Hudson River in 1880s showing Jersey City View of the Hudson River from Battery Park, New York The Goldman Sachs Tower looms above the skyline of downtown Jersey City, New Jersey, overlooking the Hudson River. ... Dutch West India Company (Dutch: West-Indische Compagnie or WIC) was a company of Dutch merchants. ... New Netherland (Dutch Nieuw-Nederland, Latin: Nova Belgica) was the territory claimed by the Netherlands on the eastern coast of North America in the 17th century. ... State nickname: Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York Governor George Pataki Official languages None Area 141,205 km² (27th)  - Land 122,409 km²  - Water 18,795 km² (13. ... This article is the current Esperanza Collaboration of the Month. ...

External links

  • History of Canada online - Daily Life in New France
  • Google Maps satellite image (requires Javascript) showing Quebec riverside "long lot" land division

  Results from FactBites:
Writers' Window (1283 words)
The seigneurial system was a system of landowning in France that was transferred to the French colonies in Eastern Canada.
Seigneuries were again threatened with the confiscation of their lands if they remained uncleared, but this time the tenant was also at risk of losing his land if he failed to improve it.
Despite the slow and painstaking immigration in the beginning, the seigneurial system was flooded with immigrants and prospective tenants in the 1700’s.
Seigneurial System (779 words)
Seigneurial system, an institutional form of land distribution and occupation established in NEW FRANCE in 1627 and officially abolished in 1854.
It was inspired by the feudal system, which involved the personal dependency of censitaires (tenants) on the seigneur; in New France the similarities ended with occupation of land and payment of certain dues, and the censitaire was normally referred to as a HABITANT.
The system of land tenure, which placed rural inhabitants close to one another, and in the early 19th century the village, were the foundation upon which the family, neighbour relations and community spirit developed.
  More results at FactBites »



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