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The Acadians took their name from the area of New World in which they landed and choose to settle.  The explorer Verazanno had sailed through this area in 1524 and named it Acadia. In 1604 Samuel de Champlain landed on St Croix Island on the west side of the Bay of Fundy and established a settlement. After a terrible winter of starvation and disease he moved it across the Bay to Port Royal where a permanent settlement was established.

The colonization of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, new Brunswick and the south-eastern areas of Quebec was all considered to be a part of the expansion of the Acadians and their particular culture. They were a peaceful people who felt their bonds to France melt away as the years passed by. When the politics of the British French confrontations intruded upon their peaceful and prosperous life.


The constant shifting of power and interest continued until 1713 when present day Nova Scotia (excluding Cape Breton) was ceded to England by the treat of Paris. The Acadians were allowed to remain in Nova Scotia but by 1754 with rising tension between France and England they were required to swear an oath of alliance to England. They refused and in 1755 the expulsion of the Acadians by the British, to other areas such as New England, Louisiana and France plus many more areas began. The story of the expulsion is most emotionally told by Henry Longfellow in his poem

Evangeline: A Tale of Acadia

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest. This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it...CLICK HERE FOR ENTIRE POEM

About 6,000 were expelled of which some made there way back to Nova Scotia but upon their return they found their homes and lands already occupied by English settlers. Man in New Brunswick hid in the forest and escaped the expulsion. By 1758 Cape Breton and Louisbourg were under siege and that area plus the rest of New France had fallen into English hands by 1762. The Acadian culture is still strong in the Maritimes today and a version of it took root in Louisiana and thrived only changing their names slightly to Cajuns.




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html