Presentation on theme: "Expulsion of the Acadians. 'Acadie' was the name given to North America by Giovanni Verrazano in 1524. It was adopted by the French settlers of what would."— Presentation transcript:
'Acadie' was the name given to North America by Giovanni Verrazano in 1524. It was adopted by the French settlers of what would later become the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Their principal settlement was at Port Royal. Acadia was the first European settlement north of Spanish Florida and in its heyday was a place of great importance.
Queen Anne’s War was the second in a series of wars fought between Great Britain and France in North America for control of the continent. Small numbers of French troops from Acadia and their more numerous First Nations allies launched raids for several years on New England and Massachusetts. Large British forces try several times to capture the key fort of Port Royal eventually succeeding in 1710.
Acadian lands passed back and forth between French and British control a number of times until 1713, when the Treaty of Utrecht ceded 'ancient Acadia' to Britain. When in 1713 Acadia was ceded to the British the Acadian population numbered 2500. France was grudgingly willing to give up Nova Scotia except for Ile Royale (Cape Breton Island) whereas the British claimed all of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, the Gaspe peninsula and Maine.
After the treaty of Utrecht France builds Fortress Louisbourg on Ile Royal in the disputed territory. Britain ignored both their own subjects and the French in Acadia for quite some time, apart from demanding an oath of absolute loyalty. The Acadians, idealistically independent as always, offered a compromise of an oath of neutrality. In 1729, British governor Richard Phillips gave verbal agreement to this compromise.
Fortress Louisbourg falls to militiamen from New England in 1745 but would be given back to the French in 1748. In 1749 the British build the Citadel in Halifax to counter the French. 1750s British settlers begin to move into Acadia.
By 1755 the cold war existing between France and Great Britain was beginning to heat up. The sparks flared into flames and war was declared in 1756. This would be the Seven Years War. During the tense phase of the war the military authorities declared the Acadians a security risk and decided to eliminate this potential threat to their rear of ten thousand or so French Acadian settlers.
During the war the Acadians initially sided with the French but were given lenient surrender terms and accepted them. A critical problem follows however as Governor Lawrence is unwilling to sign the surrender terms. Governor Lawrence does not trust the word of 10 000 Acadians who have refused to swear allegiance to Britain for over 40 years.
Acadians were ordered to turn in all their guns. Acadians responded by saying the guns were needed for hunting. Governor Lawrence ordered an Acadian delegation to Halifax and demanded their allegiance. Acadians declared they would swear their allegiance but only if they were not required to bear arms against the French. Governor Lawrence saw this as a refusal and considered them rebels who could no longer be tolerated.
The offense of the Acadians was that they sought to remain neutral in a British colony that was to be used as a base for war against their former compatriots. They also obstinately refused to take the oath of allegiance. Despite this some Acadians suspected their expulsion had more to do with their rich farmlands being much- coveted by New Englanders.
Not wanting to strengthen New France by transporting thousands of Acadians there, it was decided to disperse them all among the English colonies. A few were repatriated to France. A number of Acadians were transported to Louisiana where today their American descendants bear the corrupted name of "Cajuns." Many others simply disappeared from sight. In all some ten thousand Acadians were deported over a period of eight years.
Some Acadians managed to escape and make their way to Quebec where they warned the Canadians of what they could expect should they be conquered. After the Treaty of Paris ended the war in 1763, some Acadians made their way home and took the required oath, but most never returned to their homeland.