Corvée

Corvée, required labour. Labour demanded of HABITANTS in NEW FRANCE by seigneurs in addition to rent or for pasture rights was illegal and was suppressed by the INTENDANTS. As militiamen, all habitants were required to work on roads, bridges, fortifications and transport; this enforcement of labour was legal and of indeterminate duration and, though resented, it continued after the French regime. By mid-19th century the term had come to mean voluntary help from the community for building a church, erecting a barn, etc.