VENDEE , a maritimedepartment of western France, formed in 1790 out of Bas-
See also:Poitou, and taking its name from an unimportant tributary of the Sevre Niortaise . It is bounded by
See also:Loire-Inferieure and Maine-et-Loire on the N., by Deux-Sevres on the E., by
See also:Charente-Inferieure on the S. and by the
See also:Atlantic Ocean on the W. for 93 M . Pop . (1906) 442,777 .
See also:Area, 2708 sq. m . The islands of Yeu (area, 84 sq. m.) and
See also:Noirmoutier (q.v.) are included . The Sevre Nantaise on the N.E. and the Sevre Niortaise on the S., besides other streams of minor importance,
See also:form natural boundaries . The department falls into three divisions—woodland (
See also:Bocage), plain (Cote) and
See also:marsh (Marais) . The highest point (748 ft.) is situated in the woodland, which occupies the greater '
See also:part of Vendee, on the
See also:water-parting between the Loire and the
See also:rivers of the
See also:coast . This region, which, geologically, is composed of granite,
See also:mica-schist, schist and
See also:lias, abounds in springs, and is fresh and verdant; the landscape is characterized by open
See also:fields surrounded by trees, which supplied ambushes and retreats to the Vendeans in the
See also:civil war at the end of the 18th century . The marshes, raised above the
See also:sea-level within historic tilnes (four centuries ago), consist of two portions, the Breton marsh in the
See also:north and the Poitevin marsh in the south; the latter extends into the departments of Charente-Inferieure and Deux-Sevres . The region includes productive
See also:salt marshes andfertile cultivated areas artificially drained .
Its area is constantly being increased by the
See also:alluvium of the rivers and the secular
See also:elevation of the coast . The celebrated beds of sea-shells near St Michel en 1'Herm—2300 ft. long, 985 ft. broad and from 30 to 50 ft. deep —show to what extent the coast has risen . The plain of Vendee lying between the Bocage and the Poitevin marsh is
See also:bare and treeless, but fertile, though poor in springs; geologically it is composed of lias and oolite . The department is drained by the Sevre Nantaise (tributary of the Loire) and the
See also:Boulogne (a feeder of Lake Grandlieu in Loire-Inferieure), both draining into the
See also:basin of the Loire; and by. the
See also:Vie, the
See also:Lay (with the
See also:Yon), and the Sevre Niortaise (with the Autise and the Vendee), which flow into the Atlantic . The
See also:climate is that of the Girondine region, mild and
See also:damp, the temperature rarely rising above 77° or falling below 18° F.; 120 to 150 days of
See also:rain give an
See also:annual rainfall of 25 in . The woodland is colder than the plain, and the marsh is damp and unhealthy . The department is agriculturally prosperous . Wheat is the most important
See also:crop, oats, potatoes,
See also:clover, lucerne and mangoldwurzels ranking next . Beans,
See also:flax and colza may also be mentioned .
See also:Wine is grown in the south of the department . The rearing of live stock flourishes in the Bocage and the marsh, the pastures of the latter nourishing
See also:fine oxen and horses, and
See also:sheep famous for the excellence of their mutton .
See also:pears, peaches, plums, cherries and walnuts are among the fruits grown .
See also:Coal is
See also:mined in the south-east of the department (basin of Vouvant) and antimony is found;
See also:limestone is quarried . The
See also:spinning and
See also:weaving of wool,
See also:cotton and flax is carried on, and there are
See also:potteries, paper-mills, tan-yards, dye-
See also:works, manufactories of hats, boots and shoes,
See also:glass and lampblack,
See also:flour-mills, distilleries, oil-works, tile-works and
See also:shipbuilding yards . Sardines and tinned foods are prepared . The sardine
See also:fishery is active on the coast and there are extensive
See also:oyster-beds near Sables-d'Olonne . Corn,
See also:cattle, mules,
See also:fish, salt, wine,
See also:wood, glass and manure are exported; wine, wood,
See also:building material, coal,
See also:phosphates and petroleum are among the imports . Sables-d'Olonne is the
See also:principal fishing and commercial
See also:port . Vendee is served by the Ouest-Etat railway and has 81 m. of navigable rivers and canals . The department forms the
See also:diocese of Lucon, has its
See also:court of
See also:appeal and educational centre at
See also:Poitiers, and is included in the
See also:district of the XI . Army
See also:Corps (headquarters at Nantes) . There are three arrondissements (La
See also:Roche-sur-Yon, Fontenay-le-Comte and Sables-d'Olonne), 3o cantons, and 304 communes . The principal towns are La Roche-sur-Yon,
See also:Les Sables-d'Olonne, Fontenay-le-Comte and Lugon, which are treated under
See also:separate headings . Other places of
See also:interest are Foussais, Nieul-sur-l'Autise and Vouvant, with Romanesque churches; Pouzauges, which has a stronghold of the 13th century; Maillezais, with the ruins of its old
See also:cathedral ; Talmont and Tiffauges, both possessing ruined castles; and Le
See also:Bernard with noteworthy megalithic remains .
WARS OF THE VENDEE
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