Franco-Americans of New England

Franco-Americans of New England: Dreams and Realities

Roby Yves
Translated by Mary Ricard
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 560
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt805cp
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  • Book Info
    Franco-Americans of New England
    Book Description:

    What became of these millions of immigrant descendants? In "The Franco-Americans of New England" Yves Roby describes the first-person accounts of French Canadians' immigration to New England, as well as those of their descendants, and the Franco-Americans. Roby seeks to explain the genesis and evolution of this group and raises insightful questions regarding not only the Franco-Americans but also the integration of ethnocultural groups into Canadian society and the future of North American Francophonies.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7429-8
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-xii)
  3. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  4. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    Y.R.
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-6)

    Emigration towards the United States constitutes, in the words of Albert Faucher, the seminal event in nineteenth century French- Canadian history.¹ From 1840 to 1930, some 900,000 persons left Quebec for the American Republic, with nearly two thirds of their number locating in New England.

    Before the American Civil War, the emigrants lived in small communities, in groups of from ten to a hundred individuals or so, isolated and dispersed, literally invisible in an Anglo-Saxon Protestant population. As put by the American historian Mason Wade, this is the dark age of Franco America.² Since the migration was intended to be...

  7. Chapter I LEAVING FOR THE “STATES” (1840–1900)
    (pp. 7-28)

    How the elite came to interpret certain major events in Franco-American history, along with the viewpoint of the Other, compounded by the expectations, needs and choices of the emigrants, are all issues crucial to the identity-building process. In order to identify those events, as well as to understand the hopes and the conduct of the emigrants and of their American-born children, to discover what the Québec authorities, the Americans and their Irish-American coreligionists thought of those emigrants, it is important to have a clear idea of the migratory movement which drove hundreds of thousands of French Canadians towards New England....

  8. Chapter II IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (1865–1900)
    (pp. 29-72)

    Cowards, wastrels, deserters, turncoats, the Chinese of the Eastern States, the Pope’s henchmen, these are but a few of the labels that the elite, Quebecers and Americans, alike, attributed to the French-Canadian emigrants of New England. In the face of such malicious and scornful assertions, how did these people manage to see themselves as members of God’s chosen race and as model Americans? What role did their elite play in the identity-building process? This chapter will attempt to answer those queries.

    Approximately 22,000 persons left Québec for New England during the years 1840 to 1860. Although authorities in Québec took...

  9. Chapter III THE ELITE AND A CHANGING REALITY (1865–1900)
    (pp. 73-116)

    Try to imagine a foreigner in the year 1900, who, having visited Trois-Rivières, Québec City and Montréal, journeys south to visit the Franco-American communities of Lewiston, Manchester, Fall River and Woonsocket. It would not be surprising were he to conclude that he was still in one and the same country, since, to his eye, life on both sides of the border seemed virtually identical. Be that as it may, no French Canadian from Québec could ever be so mistaken. Apart from the similarities—certainly numerous—the “Canuck” would quickly detect obvious behavioral differences within the family, as well as at...

  10. Chapter IV THE EMERGENCE OF A RADICAL DISCOURSE (1865–1900)
    (pp. 117-152)

    The portrait of the elite that emerges from the preceding chapter is quite far removed from that of the dyed-in-the-wool militants of survivance that history customarily offers. Most certainly, they were men of conviction attached to the faith, language and traditions of French Canada, men who struggled to preserve that heritage, but who were also pragmatists, prepared to accept and promote the changes necessary for their compatriots to adapt to a new environment. There did exist pockets of radical militants, men ready to confront the “Irish” Bishop of New England, even on pain of excommunication, and to exclude from their...

  11. Chapter V PROGRESS, CRISIS, AND THE SEEDS OF DISSENSION (1901–1914)
    (pp. 153-222)

    According to some observers, the early years of the twentieth century were the golden age of Franco-American history. The institutional network was developing more rapidly than the population. Workers managed to improve their living conditions considerably, while a few offspring of the “Chinese of the Eastern States” were enjoying overwhelming successes in politics, business and sports. However, the fact that French-Canadian emigration to New England had virtually come to a halt, coupled with the huge transformations in American society and the American economy during those crucial years greatly modified the way of life in the Little Canadas, while reshaping the...

  12. Chapter VI RADICALS AND MODERATES: THE RUPTURE (1914–1929)
    (pp. 223-292)

    The Franco-American collectivity, during and after the war of 1914, found themselves to be the target of an uneasy population looking for a scapegoat. As hyphenated Americans, they were the perfect target. To avoid doubt being cast upon their loyalty, the “Americanizers” enjoined them to become 100% American, exhorting them to learn English, to use only that language and to radically transform their institutions. To confront that danger, radicals and moderates set aside their divergences to erect a common front with the support—although at times restricted—of the bishops. Nonetheless, whenever those prelates adopted ultraloyalist positions, in an effort...

  13. Chapter 7 “A NATIONAL RENASENCE”: BETWEEN THE DREAM AND THE REALITY (1929–1939)
    (pp. 293-364)

    During the 1930s, a number of Franco-American leaders began to wonder if their collectivity would be able to survive. Indeed, as Josaphat Benoit anxiously queried, “will the Franco-American edifice become the citadel, or the mausoleum, of the French race in America over the second half of this turbulent century?”³ Quite simply, Anglicization was wreaking great havoc and the institutional network seemed less and less able to assure the safeguard of the distinctive characteristics of Franco-Americanism. The Crash of 1929 was largely responsible for that degradation. Because ot the poor economy, the United States virtually closed its borders to immigration, thereby...

  14. Chapter VIII “ISOLATIONISM… OR THE OPEN-DOOR POLICY” (1939–1956)
    (pp. 365-434)

    In October 1946, Father Thomas-Marie Landry, o. p., Pastor of Sainte-Anne of Fall River, was the guest of the Standing Committee for the Survivance of the French Fact in America, which had gathered at Manchester to participate in the Golden Anniversary celebrations of Association canado-américaine (Canado-American Association). He proposed to the leaders present that they rethink the entire problem of survivance, formulate “the ideal factual history” for Franco-Americans to contemplate, and ultimately that they unite all their compatriots in a methodical and coherent pursuit of that ideal. Next, for the optimism generated by the Québec Conference to have evaporated less...

  15. Chapter IX THE ELDER GENERATION STANDS DOWN (1956–1976)
    (pp. 435-498)

    In 1955, Thomas-Marie Landry reminded the militants of survivance that the 1949 doctrine remained a bare minimum. Yet, scarcely 20 years later, he recognized that the standards for surviving set down in the manifestoNotre vie franco-américaine(Our Franco-American Experience), as elaborated by the Franco-American Steering Committee and approved at Worcester in 1949, no longer corresponded to reality and therefore had to be carefully revised. By then, the Little Canadas had all but disappeared from the landscape of New England and the institutional network, which had been established and maintained at great cost by generations of Franco-Americans, was literally on...

  16. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 499-518)

    Father Thomas-Marie Landry confronted the young Franco-American militants with a momentous challenge at the Bedford colloquium in June 1976. By inviting them to become the architects of a renaissance that could rally all young Franco-Americans, he was asking them nothing less than to succeed where the elders had failed. Would the young militants be able to convince their peers to secure for the French language and culture the status of dominant second language and second culture? In 1976, the majority held that to be possible or at least acted as if they did. However, scarcely ten short years later, all...

  17. BIBLIOGRAPHIC GUIDELINES
    (pp. 519-526)
  18. ONOMASTIC INDEX
    (pp. 527-534)
  19. TOPONIMIC INDEX
    (pp. 535-540)
  20. SUBJECT INDEX
    (pp. 541-544)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 545-545)