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Nobility LostFrench and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France$
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Christian Ayne Crouch

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452444

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452444.001.0001

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Culture Wars in the Woods

Culture Wars in the Woods

(p.65) Chapter 3 Culture Wars in the Woods
Nobility Lost

Christian Ayne Crouch

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the years of officially declared war. It outlines the expectations of French officers for their American service, how they anticipated their allies would act, and the role the metropolitans envisioned for themselves in framing the conflict’s violence before contrasting these with the reality of events in North America. The campaigns from June through September 1756, for instance, introduced French officers newly arrived in Canada to a conception and performance of warfare radically different from what they had known in Europe and set the boundaries of cooperation between metropolitan and colonial military elites. New France’s governor, Pierre de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, planned to target a key British supply station, Oswego, whose removal would keep the frontier unstable and prevent Britain from gaining traction among Indians in the west. French officers expected that the Oswego venture would provide them with a realistic assessment of the marines and the Canadian militia; they would learn to work with Indian soldiers and could evaluate British strength. A successful campaign would prove the army’s “zeal to the king” and their ability to work with Canadians and would demonstrate the senior officers’ tactical talents. Unfortunately, the Oswego campaign was to become the first blow to the French war effort. It revealed splits in expectations, strategic planning, and concepts of victory.

Keywords:   Canada, France, French military officers, Britain, Oswego campaign

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