Local political initiatives in French imperialism: The case of Louisbourg, 1713-1758.

Title: Local political initiatives in French imperialism: The case of Louisbourg, 1713-1758.
Authors: Varkey, Joy.
Date: 1996
Abstract: This dissertation illustrates the role of Louisbourg in the enunciation and implementation of French imperial policies in the colonies of Isle Royale (Cape Breton), Isle St. Jean (Prince Edward Island) and the British colony of Nova Scotia between 1713 and 1758. It explains imperialism in the framework of the relations between the colonising nation and the colony and from the perspective of colonial or local initiatives. Based on an examination of the functioning of the government of Louisbourg under the control of the governor and commissaire ordonnateur and the pattern of the evolution of policies and decisions with regard to colonial administration this study demonstrates that French imperialism in the North Atlantic littoral was more a product of local political initiatives than that of metropolitan policies and programmes. The management of the fishery, commerce, and military affairs, as well as French relationships with the Mi'kmaq, the Maliseet and the Abenakis, the influence of the missionaries and Catholicism in Amerindian societies, the Native peoples' part in resisting Anglo-American colonial expansion, the distinct political and cultural position of the Acadians of Nova Scotia in favour of French imperial interests, and the nature of Anglo-French contest for empire substantiate this thesis. In brief, French imperialism in the context of Louisbourg and its seaboard empire was characterised by four principal aspects: first, the absence of large-scale successful combined land and naval operations designed to "conquer" the Amerindians and expel the British from Nova Scotia; second, the absence of the imposition of a centralised metropolitan policy of imperialism; third, the formation of an imperial power structure in the colony based on a linkage of colonial forces and facilities, and fourth, the formulation and implementation of imperial policy with, or without, the collaboration of the mother country. In general policies, strategies, tactics, and military operations of France's imperial system in Isle Royale and the "informal empire" (a zone of political influence without a recognised territorial base) in Nova Scotia were directed from within the colony. This process of empire building is defined as "imperialism from below" in this study.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/9543
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2005 // Theses, 1910 - 2005
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