French Canadians - Settlements



Two settlement patterns have shaped the Quebec landscape. Since the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries were once the only means of transportation, all farms fronted the river in a pattern called rangs. Social life took place in these rangs and small villages. Settlements spread from the river to interior lands. From 1608 to 1850, the French Canadians lived in the rangs of seigneuries on each shore of the St. Lawrence River between Quebec and Montreal. In the 1840s, Scottish and Irish settlers colonized the eastern townships outside the seigneuries according to the English pattern. In the 1860s, peripheral regions of Quebec were colonized from the seigneuries. During this same period, thousands of French Canadians migrated to work in New England factories where they formed the Franco-American diaspora.


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