VENDEE. LA, a maritime department in the west of France, bounded on the w. by the bay of Biscay, on the n. by the department of Loire-Inferieure, and on the s. by that of Charente-Inferieure. Area, 2,587 sq.m.; pop. '76, 411,781. The depart ment, which owes its name to a smell affluent of the Charente, is traversed from e. to w. by a range of bills, called in the e. the Plateau de Gatiu, and in the w. the Collines Nantaises; and is watered in the n. by the affluents of the Loire, and in the s. by the Lay and the affluents of the Charente. The territory of La Vendee is divided into three parts, the names of which indicate the character of their configuration. In the w. is the Marais, occupied by salt marshes and lakes; in the n. is the Bocage, covered with plantations; in the s. and middle is the Plaine, an open and fertile tract. The coast-line, 93 m. in length, presents few deep indentations, the chief being the bay of Aiguillon, which affords secure anchorage for vessels. The
climate is warm, humid, and unhealthy Ma rams, cold and humid in the Bocage, and warm, dry, and healthy in the Plaine. Cereals, potatoes, and vegetables are largely cultivated; the wine produced, which is white and of inferior quality, amounts to 5.500,000 gallons a year. Among the mineral treasures iron ore is very abundant. There are three arrondissements—La Roche-sur-Yon, Fontenay-le-Comte, and Sables d'Olonne. The capital is La Roche-sur-Yon.—For the wars of La Vendee (by which name the armed opposition to the religious and political changes in France is denoted, and which burst out into a species religious partisan warfare iu 1793, 1794, 1795, 1799, and1815), see CATHELINEAII, LAROCTIEJANUELEEC, HOCHE, CHOUANS, etc.