This was the seigneurial system of land tenure, whose legal structure was transferred alsmot unaltered from France to the New World. Although the system was old and effete in seventeenth-century France, scholars have considered that it shaped much of the life of early Canada. Harris argues in this classic study, now available in paper for the first time, that such was not the case. If the seigneurial system were central to the development of early Canadian society, the patterns of settlement, land use, and trade in the colony would have borne the imprint of the system. Through inspection of such records as deeds of land concession and sale, statements of vassalage, and wills, Harris reconstructs the geography of Canada before the British conquest. This evidence leads to novel and interesting conclusions: that the seigneurie was not an important unit on the land and the seigneur was not a dominant figure in the life of the community. With remarkable clarity, Harris unfolds a detailed picture of the landscape of early Canada and of the people who created it. The reissue of this important volume will be welcomed by all interested in early European societies in North America.