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The Role of the Dutch in the Iroquois Wars
by Peter Lowensteyn


The study analyses the history of people of Dutch origin in the province of Quebec in terms of settlement patterns, immigration experience, economic and socio-cultural development and integration. Attention is given to the rural/urban distinction, and push and pull factors are assessed during the three periods under consideration: the "Loyalist" period, 1900-1945, and 1946 onward.

Furthermore, an attempt is made to answer the question why a disproportionately small number of Dutch in Canada are found in Quebec.

It is proposed that reasons changed over time: political ones during the "Loyalist" times, and a mixture of political, religious, and economic ones during pre-World War II immigration. Lack of a base mitigated against chain migration had a further negative impact during the post-World War II years.

Analysis is based on historical and contemporary published material, as well as on privately-held documents of ethnic institutions. Information obtained from 18 oral histories collected in 1983-1984 is used to illustrate and underscore certain points.

Findings indicate that

(a) descendants of Dutch Loyalists are indistinguishable from native Canadians;

(b) that the small group of Dutch pre-World World War II immigrants were, on the whole, poorly organized, economically weak, and, with a few exceptions, left no mark;

(c) that Post World War II Dutch Quebeckers, on the other hand, are more numerous, are among the highest income groups of the province's ethnic and charter groups, and boast a number of ethnic institutions in spite of their high level of integration.

In addition to the proposed reasons for limited Dutch settlement in Quebec, the French language appears to have had a negative effect, but did so primarily in the rural areas, except for a recent urban exodus as a result of political changes in the province.