Date of Award

Fall 1987

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This work is a comparison of New England and New France in northeast North America in the seventeenth century. The study of New England relies on secondary works while the study of New France uses primary material. The seigneurie of Notre Dame des Anges, located north of Quebec City, was used as the basis of this study. The questions asked in this study are: Was culture or the environment the most significant factor in the establishing of colonies in the New World? Who were the people who came from England and France? What was the character of those who stayed on the land? What was the relationship between the fathers and sons? Implied in this study is why New England succeeded and why New France failed?

The European powers came first to exploit the continent. Instead, the North American environment shaped and transformed those fragments of European cultures that crossed the Atlantic.

In addition, the composition of those who came from both countries was similar. Many who came and stayed were mature adults, often artisans, from the urban centers of Europe.

Those who persisted in New England/Andover and New France/Notre Dame des Agnes were similar in character. They married at about the same age and had about the same number of children. In both colonies fathers attempted to establish their sons on the land. Eventual land shortages in both colonies forced migration. Fathers in both colonies, however, when they could not provide land for their children within the community attempted to still provide for their children by giving them a trade, education, money, or land in another community. Thus, while the cultures that were transmitted to northeast North America varied these cultures were molded by the environment and took on a North American character which had similar qualities in each colony.