L'élection de 1830 dans le comté Saint-Hyacinthe : identités élitaires et solidarités paroissiales, sociales ou familiales


  • Christian Dessureault


The study of voting behaviour in Quebec in the nineteenth century usually aims to determine the impact of an ideology (liberalism or nationalism) or of a political party (Patriote or Rouge) on some social or ethnic group in some region (county, city, or neighbourhood). This study of the election of 1830 in the county of Saint- Hyacinthe takes a somewhat different approach. The portrait of the candidates and analysis of voting behaviour fits, rather, into a question more specifically linked to the social history of rural communities. This study seeks to clarify the importance of social, parish, or family membership in the overall sphere of rural politics. This research also enhances knowledge of the concept of the social elite in rural communities. Some farmers were able to raise themselves to the level of principal local or regional notables. However, the social and political cohesion of the village élites remained much stronger than that of élites rising from rural society. As well, parish and client connections had greater influence on voting behaviour than did the family networks of the candidates.