New Book: THE FORMAL AND INFORMAL POLITICS OF BRITISH RULE IN POST-CONQUEST QUEBEC, 1760-1837: A NORTHERN BASTILLE

Nancy Christie's picture
Type: 
Home Office Notices (Jobs, Reviews)
Location: 
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Atlantic History / Studies, British History / Studies, Canadian History / Studies, Law and Legal History, Women's & Gender History / Studies

            I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book, The Formal and Informal Politics of British Rule in Post-Conquest Quebec, 1760-1837:  A Northern Bastille (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2020).  This work places Quebec in its imperial context and applies the insights of theories of colonialism to the interactions between British rulers and the conquered French Canadian population.  In so doing, it challenges the conventional narrative of the British Conquest which has highlighted the peaceful accommodation between English and French as the main component of a liberal narrative of nation-building. Based on a massive data base of over 20,000 legal cases from both the criminal and civil judicial archives of Quebec, and a critical assessment of both the official governmental transcript of British rule and a close textual analysis of opposition political writing, The Formal and Informal Politics of British Rule breaks new ground by examining different registers of political participation engaged in by a wide variety of actors.  This book therefore greatly extends the scope of what constitutes “the political” and by including the voices of ordinary people, it reconsiders the processes of imperial formation and colonial state-building from the bottom up.

            This new study fully anchors Quebec within an Atlantic context and addresses themes of Patriot writing during the American Revolution, including opposition to the Quebec Act; projects to enhance imperial authority; patterns of consumption; popular participation in systems of credit; interpersonal violence; and a variety of counter-revolutionary strategies, such as attempts to erect more stringent laws governing the relations of masters and servants.  It therefore explicitly places Quebec within broader debates concerning the transformations of Atlantic economies and politics in the age of revolutions.

Contact Info: 

Dr. Nancy Christie,

Adjunct Research Professor,

Department of History,

University of Western Ontario,

London ON N6A 5B8 Canada

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