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ISBN: 9781771861496

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A Distinct Alien Race

The Untold Story of Franco-Americans - Industrialization, Immigration, Religious Strife

“The French number more than a million in the United States…. They are kept a distinct alien race, subject to the Pope in matters of religion and of politics. Soon…they will govern you, Americans.” — British-American Citizen (Boston), 1889

Americans don’t think of Canada as a source of potential terrorists—speaking a foreign tongue, serving a foreign religion, and invading their country. But when a million French-Canadians crossed the border between 1840 and 1930, many seeking work in New England’s burgeoning textile industry, they were cast as foot soldiers in an alleged Roman Catholic plot.

A Distinct Alien Race places these Franco-Americans in the context of contemporary issues: the rise and fall of manufacturing in the U.S; Nativism and the fear of the Other; emigration to the U.S. across land borders; and the construction of race. Vermette traces individuals and families, from the textile barons whose profits in the Caribbean and China trades financed a new industry, to the rural poor of Québec who crowded into fetid tenements after the Civil War. His social history exposes the anti-Franco-American agitation of Protestant clergy, the Ku Klux Klan, and the eugenics movement.

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Contributors

David Vermette

David Vermette is a researcher, writer, and speaker on the history and identity of the descendants of French North America. He was born and raised in Massachusetts.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price

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A personal introduction to the topic, some broad context and history, and some definitions. 28 $2.80

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The chapter first looks at the story of the merchant Thomas Handasyd Perkins and the New England textile industry, using this merchant’s life and beliefs as a case study. It also examines … 13 $1.30

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This chapter looks at the global economy and textile industry in different contexts at the beginning of the 19th century, then focuses on Boston specifically. It then looks at "Mill … 15 $1.50

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This chapter tells the story of the renowned Cabot family of Massachusetts and their role in the textile industry in North America. 19 $1.90

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This chapter looks at cotton manufacturing in what is now the State of Maine. It touches on the stories of various influential businessmen, the history of the Cabot Manufacturing Company, and the … 15 $1.50

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This chapter further explores Franco-American history and the role that this group played in the cotton textile industry in America. It discusses the early and later mass emigration movements … 31 $3.10

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This chapter continues to trace the history of Franco-Americans from the middle to the end of the 19th century in New England. It looks at Franco-American/Canadiens experiences and communities, … 17 $1.70

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The Cabot Company continued to house most of the rapidly growing Franco-American population throughout the 19th century; in this chapter, the author explores the history of this company and the … 24 $2.40

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Despite the poor housing conditions in the mill towns, Canadiens continued to come to New England seduced by tales of fabulous salaries. This chapter examines the myth of Franco-American … 23 $2.30

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The standard theory claims that most of the Canadien immigrants to New England were debt-strapped farmers, but this is not the only important story about Franco-American origins in Québec; … 16 $1.60

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A large segment of Brunswick’s Franco-Americans came from the town of L’Islet; this chapter looks at the context surrounding this group’s emigration to New England. 8 $0.80

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This chapter looks at Anglo-Protestant culture in the U.S. and the culture of Franco-Americans, and the tensions that emerged as Franco-Americans denied assimilation. The author argues that the … 19 $1.90

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In the twenty years before 1900, a segment of the U.S. press presented the view that the Québec Roman Catholic hierarchy conspired to conquer New England. The Franco-American workers, this … 35 $3.50

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While tensions cooled in the early 20th century, there was renewed backlash against Franco-Americans in the era following the First World War was part of a nationwide trend targeting … 24 $2.40

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This chapter explores the history of the Ku Klux Klan, their activities in New England, and their views on/treatment of Catholic Franco-Americans, considering their religious crusade to defend … 34 $3.40

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This chapter explores the decline of the textile industry. By the mid-20th century the textile mills that attracted workers from Québec to the New England, and that once led the … 17 $1.70

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This chapter examines the phenomenon of Franco-Americans moving out of Little Canadas, even before the mills fell silent, and the reasons that so many left these communities, as well as where … 12 $1.20

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This chapter looks at questions of race, culture, and self-identification in the United States, and the Franco-American experience. The assumption of Franco-Americans into non-Hispanic whiteness … 8 $0.80

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This chapter looks at relations and differences between Franco-Americans and Quebecois. It explores some Quebecois history and cultural development during and after La Revolution Tranquille, and … 11 $1.10

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- 3 $0.30