1750's thru 1850's turmoil

Late 18th and early 19th centuries a time of turmoil

The late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (1750's thru 1850's) were a time of great turmoil, upheaval and hardship in France and over the European continent in general. The revolutions in the New World, the continuing wars with England and the never ending descent into decadence of the French monarchy, all in the face of famine and economic collapse, led France through her own revolution. Unlike America, which was able to effectively "retool" a democracy when it faced its own collapse, France's republic became dominated by the military which led to the formation of a totalitarian empire under the dictator Napoleon. Years of warfare and the ensuing rape of the land accompanied by disease and famine brought a dark cloud over much of France and Europe from which many sought to escape. By the 1830's and the 1840's the emigration of large numbers of Europeans to the Americas had begun in earnest. 

It was during this period of depression that the young Amandus Studer came into manhood. Amandus, as well as his half-brother Sebastian Jr. and half sister Anne Marie, became cobblers as had their father and grandfather before them. Amandus married Francisca Bollinger of Sopp-le-haut (a nearby village) on September 11, 1843.

Sebastian Sr., his father, had died two years earlier and Amandus and his new bride were faced with a bleak future. Franciscas' uncle, Nicholas Dietrich, had left for a far away place called St. Agatha in Ontario, Canada. There Nicholas homesteaded land and wrote to his family (in the old country) of the wondrous opportunities available to those willing to brave dangerous travel and work hard in the new world.

Amandus and Francisca make a decision that changes their lives.