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Discussion

Discuss about the 18th century society in France.

The essay of Christopher Moorey, ‘the marriage of Marie-Louise Cruchon’, gives a clear view of the harbor town of Louisbourg in Ile Royale. The essay analyses the marriage of Jacques Rolland who was an apprentice merchant who originally belonged to the Breton village of Hede and Marie-Louise Cruchon who was the elder daughter of the widow named Therese Boudier Cruchon. Moore lays in his interest in the courtship of Marie-Louise Cruchon and Louisebourg. The courtship period turned to marriage finally in the year 1742. Later because of the interest of Rolland in the town of Louisebourg he was found to elope in Louiseboug without his wife and without considering about his career. The incident turned out to be a humiliating one. At one level the essay concentrates on the offering of the history of the marriage of Marie and it pays attention to offer a glimpse into the society of Louisbourge. This is one shade that the essay offers. The other shade that the essay offers is that it makes effort to put forward the factors that are associated with marriage in France[1]. The factors that were considered in the marriage of Marie and Rolland were compared to the factors that existed in marriages in France[2]. Marriage has been used as an effective vehicle for the understanding of the essential characteristics of the colonial society in the eighteenth century in France. The mind-set of the people in France regarding marriage has been highlighted in the essay.

Thesis statement: there are instances in the essay where the marriage of Rolland and Marie has been considered to be an effort to maintain the social status. Therefore marriage was a fake and an institutionalized concept that was sometimes performed to maintain the status of the individual in the society.

The perception of marriage was considered to the major point of concern in the entire essay. The popular perception of marriage has been considered to be the major aspect of the essay. In some parts marriage is considered to be the private domestic act. The vows are taken in front of the society but the concept is supposed to be a private affair and it is supposed to reside behind the closed doors of the house. Moore tries to reconsider this perception[3]. The institution of marriage has always been considered from a larger point of view. The marriage does not restrict itself between a man and a woman but it has huge scope in the society. The concept is always jugged from the angle of the society. The social consequences are associated with the institution of marriage. The marriage offers them the designation of husband or wife. It assigns certain role to the respective persons. It has created a model in the society. The husband are expected to perform certain pre-decided set of rules and the wife is also expected to perform certain rules that been designed by the society. The husband is supposed to be the bread-winner and he is supposed to go out of the house and fetch money for his family. The wife is expected to stay at home and indulge in the house-hold works. She is expected to be submissive and obey to the instructions given by her husband. The husband is the bread-winner of the family and therefore he can put some order to his wife to do the work and expect absolute obedience from his wife[4]. In the eighteenth century marriage was designed in this particular form and the people religiously practiced this concept of marriage[5]. This idea of marriage would serve as a background of analyzing the marriage between Jacques and Marie. The marriage of Marie and Jacques was considered to be a fake one. According to Moore the marriage was absolutely an alliance. Rolland was aware of the fact that his activities were making him more popular and famous in Louisebourg, he became aware that if he married someone from a local family he would able to develop as a businessman. The events prior to this made Rolland aware that if he married a local girl he would be able to make good business. This is the reason he married the wealthy daughter of a merchant. This is the common scenario in France. Novice merchant Blaise Lagoanere had married the eldest daughter of a wealthy employer Michael Daccarette who accured a good number of clients. Making a good social reputation was an extremely important factor that was considered in France. This is the reason Rolland tried to make social connections and he tried to establish himself in the social connections in France [6].

Arranged marriages in 18th-century France


The social standing in New France discusses about the time when Rolland tried to establish himself among the social circles of Louisbourg. On the other hand, Marie Louise Cruchon’s mother, Therese Boudier Cruchon, was trying to maintain the social standing of the family. Therese Boudier became the head of their household, just after her husband, Jean Rene Cruchon died. The death of Jean Rene Cruchon had left the whole family struggle down the poverty line. The family got doomed and had to live upon the meager income, which was garnered by the limited craft work[7]. In order to maintain their societal standing, the Cruchon family presented a deceptive outward appearance.

However, their struggle of holding their outward appearance did not last for long. As soon as they got introduced to Jacques Rolland in the year 1741, at a social function, Therese Boudier took a turn and tried to build up a relationship with Rolland. This whole situation turned up into marriage. Jacques Rolland married the widow’s eldest daughter. However, Rolland was neither a civil officer not a socially desirable military officer. He was completely dependent upon Theresa Boudier’s wage earning potential. Therefore, along with the alliance an official marriage was born[8].

The socio economic forces which forged into the alliance of Rolland Cruchon marriage at Louisbourg, was typical for the New France. In Allan Greer’s book, titled ‘The People of New France’ presented an overview of social history in the New France. This offered almost a similar picture of the marriage just as the essay of Moore. However, Greer suggested that arrange marriages are the ones, which were almost unheard at the then society[9]. He further argued that it is more beneficial to find a husband and set up a household, considering the challenges attached to the single life, in the then society.


The people of the New France tried to avoid single life completely and they had a belief that it was difficult to stay along forever. They took marriage very seriously and had a notion that marriages are the means of survival in the pioneering difficulties or challenges which existed in New France. Greer mentioned in his book that it was kind of difficult to imagine a pioneering life without someone or without a soul mate with the prospects of children. Therefore, this fact emphasized upon the importance upon marriages and children, which became the mode of survival for all human beings[10].

Societal roles and expectations of marriage

Moreover, Greer stressed upon the fact that marriages are immensely crucial for the human beings for surviving into the society of the then France. In addition to this, the stressing of the importance of marriage for the survival of human beings also meant that the women of New France had to depend upon someone for their survival. It also gave an idea that the women got married early and had child bearing years in New France, as compared to the European counterparts. As far as the men were concerned in the New France, marriages for them meant that they became the bread winner of the family[11]. The men of the then society had to support the burgeoning family.

Furthermore, the socio economic duties of the men often gave an idea that they had to spend more time away from their families for military expeditions or trade operations. Therefore, by using this perception of weddings and marriages, it can be said that several factors came into play in the then society, along with marriages. The marriage between Jacques Rolland and Marie Louise Cruchon was more of an alliance, than pure love. The merchant activities of Rolland meant that he was becoming well known in Louisbourg[12].

Rolland was much aware that getting married to a local girl would prove to be beneficial for him. He will be able to establish his business over there and become a successful businessman. These particular events in the Louisbourg have demonstrated the fact marrying a local girl was a good decision of Rolland. It meant that Roland had a good sense in business and he was more of business minded person, rather than an emotional fool. Novice merchant Blaise Lagoanere got married to Michel Daccarette’s eldest daughter. Michel Daccarette was a wealthy employer and by marrying his daughter, Blaise Lagaonere acquired a good number of the clients in the whole procedure[13].


However, it is seen that a fellow employee of Daccarette, Jean Baptiste Lascorret failed in the business ventures which he tried to establish in Louisbourg. It can also be said that he did not have any social connections or say, marital ties. Lascorret attempted to leave Louisbourg and did everything to start a new venture in Caribbean. At this time, Rolland established himself by tying his knot and mixing into the societal circles of the then Louisbourg. Therefore, it can be argued that instead of seeing or perceiving the overall concept of marriage as a solely private domestic act, it should be seen as some public institution which shapes as well as reflects the required societal characteristics[14].

Impact of marriage on individuals and families

The essay of Moore explored the popular perception of marriages as well. In the North America, popular perception of weddings is similar to a private domestic act. Even though the customarily vows are being exchanged within the public settings, the institution seems to be a private matter which resides behind the four walls of the families[15]. It is important to rethink his overall perception.

Conclusion

To conclude, on exchanging the customarily vows and tying the knots between the man and the woman, the marriage institution always have larger societal consequences. It can be said from the overall history of Jacques Rolland and Marie Louise Cruchon that marriages was much business oriented in the New France. Marriages have wider social dynamics and it can be placed in between the New France societies and Louisbourg. Therefore, from the analysis the essential characteristics of the eighteenth century colonial society of New France can be identified, which was deeply embedded into the socio economic factors.

References

Anderson, Matthew Smith. Europe in the eighteenth century 1713-1789. Routledge, 2014.

Barker-Benfield, G. J. "Mary Wollstonecraft: eighteenth-century commonwealthwoman." In Mary Wollstonecraft, pp. 47-67. Routledge, 2017.

Blackbourn, David, and Richard Evans. The German Bourgeoisie (routledge Revivals): Essays on the Social History of the German Middle Class from the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century. Routledge, 2014.

Broude, Norma. Feminism and art history: Questioning the litany. Routledge, 2018.

Cunningham, Hugh. Children and childhood in western society since 1500. Routledge, 2014.

Kettering, Sharon. French Society: 1589-1715. Routledge, 2014.

Pasco, Allan H. Revolutionary love in eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century France. Routledge, 2016.

Roulston, Chris. Narrating Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England and France. Routledge, 2016.

Sonenscher, Michael. Work and wages: natural law, politics and the eighteenth-century French trades. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Spangler, Jonathan. The society of princes: the Lorraine-Guise and the conservation of power and wealth in seventeenth-century France. Routledge, 2017.

Sutton, Geoffrey V. Science for a polite society: Gender, culture, and the demonstration of Enlightenment. Routledge, 2018.

Tooley, Brenda. Gender and utopia in the eighteenth century: essays in English and French utopian writing. Routledge, 2016.

Trumbach, Randolph. The rise of the egalitarian family: Aristocratic kinship and domestic relations in eighteenth-century England. Elsevier, 2013

Roulston, Chris. Narrating Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England and France. Routledge, 2016.

Tooley, Brenda. Gender and utopia in the eighteenth century: essays in English and French utopian writing. Routledge, 2016.

Pasco, Allan H. Revolutionary love in eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century France. Routledge, 2016.

Spangler, Jonathan. The society of princes: the Lorraine-Guise and the conservation of power and wealth in seventeenth-century France. Routledge, 2017.

Broude, Norma. Feminism and art history: Questioning the litany. Routledge, 2018.

Barker-Benfield, G. J. "Mary Wollstonecraft: eighteenth-century commonwealthwoman." In Mary Wollstonecraft, pp. 47-67. Routledge, 2017.

Sonenscher, Michael. Work and wages: natural law, politics and the eighteenth-century French trades. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Roulston, Chris. Narrating Marriage in Eighteenth-Century England and France. Routledge, 2016.

Sutton, Geoffrey V. Science for a polite society: Gender, culture, and the demonstration of Enlightenment. Routledge, 2018.

Blackbourn, David, and Richard Evans. The German Bourgeoisie (routledge Revivals): Essays on the Social History of the German Middle Class from the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Century. Routledge, 2014.

Cunningham, Hugh. Children and childhood in western society since 1500. Routledge, 2014.

Anderson, Matthew Smith. Europe in the eighteenth century 1713-1789. Routledge, 2014.

Kettering, Sharon. French Society: 1589-1715. Routledge, 2014.

Trumbach, Randolph. The rise of the egalitarian family: Aristocratic kinship and domestic relations in eighteenth-century England. Elsevier, 2013.

Cunningham, Hugh. Children and childhood in western society since 1500. Routledge, 2014.

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