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The Acadian Diaspora: An Eighteenth-Century History - Oxford Studies in International History (Paperback)
  • The Acadian Diaspora: An Eighteenth-Century History - Oxford Studies in International History (Paperback)
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The Acadian Diaspora: An Eighteenth-Century History - Oxford Studies in International History (Paperback)

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£19.99
Paperback 274 Pages / Published: 13/04/2017
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Late in 1755, an army of British regulars and Massachusetts volunteers completed one of the cruelest, most successful military campaigns in North American history, capturing and deporting seven thousand French-speaking Catholic Acadians from the province of Nova Scotia, and chasing an equal number into the wilderness of eastern Canada. Thousands of Acadians endured three decades of forced migrations and failed settlements that shuttled them to the coasts of South America, the plantations of the Caribbean, the frigid islands of the South Atlantic, the swamps of Louisiana, and the countryside of central France. The Acadian Diaspora tells their extraordinary story in full for the first time, illuminating a long-forgotten world of imperial desperation, experimental colonies, and naked brutality. Using documents culled from archives in France, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, Christopher Hodson reconstructs the lives of Acadian exiles as they traversed oceans and continents, pushed along by empires eager to populate new frontiers with inexpensive, pliable white farmers. Hodson's compelling narrative situates the Acadian diaspora within the dramatic geopolitical changes triggered by the Seven Years' War. Faced with redrawn boundaries and staggering national debts, imperial architects across Europe used the Acadians to realize radical plans: tropical settlements without slaves, expeditions to the unknown southern continent, and, perhaps strangest of all, agricultural colonies within old regime France itself. In response, Acadians embraced their status as human commodities, using intimidation and even violence to tailor their communities to the superheated Atlantic market for cheap, mobile labor. Through vivid, intimate stories of Acadian exiles and the diverse, transnational cast of characters that surrounded them, The Acadian Diaspora presents the eighteenth-century Atlantic world from a new angle, challenging old assumptions about uprooted peoples and the very nature of early modern empire.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190610739
Number of pages: 274
Weight: 396 g
Dimensions: 234 x 169 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[A] welcome addition to the growing field of French Atlantic history on at least two fronts. ... [A] brilliant marriage of the day-to-day microworld of Acadians forced to make choices across space and time and the macrodynamics of imperial experimentation over three decades. * Journal of Modern History *
Hodson's thorough research takes him through a vast archive of documents... Recommended. * CHOICE *
Engaging.... The key themes that emerge from of this study are, first, the disorganization and unreality of imperial dreams in the eighteenth century and, second, the price that a vulnerable population whose members had flourished for decades in the interstices of two empires paid when imperial gambles trumped the family and cultural ties that bound them together. * American Historical Review *
The Acadian Diaspora is a fine debut performance by a young historian of rare sensitivity and talent. Christopher Hodson has taken a long-familiar episode * the expulsion of French settlers from eastern Canada following the Seven Years War *
A wondrous journey, luminously told, The Acadian Diaspora invites readers into the social and cultural richness of the French Atlantic. Through stories of exiles, migrants, and seekers, Hodson reconfigures our understanding of empire and analyzes the conjoined creation of American and European eighteenth-century worlds. * Laurent Dubois, author of Haiti: The Aftershocks of History *
Hodson is a superb ironist. The Acadian story will never look the same again. But then neither will that of the French Empire: its brutally consequential entanglements with Enlightenment thought wrecked peasant lives long after the initial deportations by the British. * Catherine Desbarats, McGill University *
Christopher Hodson movingly tells the stories of the Acadian exiles who scattered all over the Atlantic world after British forces expelled them from their homes in 1755. But his book also reveals tells a much broader tale about eighteenth-century utopian schemes. With wit and humanity, he traces how Acadians became the objects * and often the victims *
I would recommend this well written and researched book. It gives a fine narrative account of an important aspect of North American history and describes the plight of a significant Catholic population. * Catholic Books Review *
An extremely compelling and valuable contribution to both cultural studies and imperial history Will be of particular interest to those researching the francophone Atlantic world. * French Studies *
The first academic book to cover the wide diaspora across the transatlantic world of the later 18th century into the early 19th century in scrupulous concrete detail. * The Eighteenth Century Intelligencer *
A decade of research has netted fresh archival material and important insights into the ordeal of Acadians transplanted to the southern American colonies, the French coastal island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer, and other locales. * Canada's History *
This book tells the familiar story of the Acadian experience of deportation and exile with a new focus . [It] weaves a comprehensive narrative that provokes a reconsideration of the importance of colonial ventures in late eighteenth-century France as well as sympathy for the refugees whose lives were further wrecked by those ventures' failures. * Journal of American Studies *
This engagingly written and excellently researched study is the first to explore fully the Acadians' role in the reconstruction of French imperialism after the end of the Seven Years' War in 1763... The Acadian Diaspora ensures that the Acadians can no longer be seen in essence as mere victims of imperial cruelty.... Hodson shows instead they were energetic and canny actors who survived against tremendous odds on the cutting edge of French Enlightenment agricultural experimentation. It is this emphasis on Enlightenment experimentation that marks this return to the best tradition of grand and erudite imperial history as a quintessentially 'Eighteenth Century History.' * Kenneth Banks, H-France *

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