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French Connections : Franconnexions Panel 1: The Past

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A conference highlighting the historical, cultural and economic contributions of French Canadians from Québec into Vermont and New England. 

Between 1830 and 1930, close to one million immigrants from Québec poured into Vermont and New England, populating towns and villages, starting new businesses and farms. While many of these new immigrants settled closer to the border, others spread throughout Vermont and into New England. The influence of these new settlers on the state and region was vast, from politics to culture, to the economy. In many northern schools in Vermont, French was as frequently spoken as English. Today, while the phone book remains heavily dominated by French surnames, this huge influx of population is largely integrated. Yet some 25% of Vermonters trace their ancestry to French Canada. This conference looks at the past, the present and the future of these cross-border migrations and relationships. Three panels will examine this story.

Welcoming Remarks
William Falls, UVM Dean of Arts and Sciences
Rita de Santis, 
Minister for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions

The Past
How and why were Vermont and New England populated by so many French Canadians in the 19th and early 20th centuries?
How were they received?
When and why did this influx assimilate?


Chair: Susan Pinette, Professor of Modern Languages and Literature, University of Maine
Father Marcel Rainville, Saint Michael's College
Leslie Choquette, Professor of History, Assumption College
Mark Richard, Professor of History, SUNY Plattsburgh

Shows In This Series