|Friday, January 24, 2020||3:00PM - 5:00PM||108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs|
1 Devonshire Place
After he asserted direct control of New France in the 1660s, Louis XIV’s authority was largely unrestricted. As scholars of his reign have pointed out in relation to the political legitimacy of his regime in France itself, the manufactured symbols of Louis XIV’s kingship finessed the contradictions between his centralization of authority and his continued reliance on local elites. In the case of an overseas colony, there was no possibility that the king would ever favour his distant subjects with his presence. The monarch could be nothing but representation. This paper looks at the representations of monarchical authority in various media: paintings and prints, a statue in Lower Town Québec, currency and medals, and the legal system. The distance of the colony meant in some cases relying on expedients to govern the French population.
Dr. Colin Coates teaches Canadian Studies and History at Glendon College, York University. He has published on the history of rural society in the St Lawrence Valley (The Metamorphosis of Landscape and Community in Early French Canada) and on the history of commemoration (Heroines and History: Representations of Madeleine de Verchères and Laura Secord, with Cecilia Morgan). He is currently working on studies of political culture in Louis XIV’s New France and the environmental history of Québec. He recently co-edited The Nature of Canada, with Graeme Wynn.
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