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BOOK - The Acadians Before 1755
By Régis Brun
First edition published by Régis Brun, Moncton, 2005
This edition published by Global Heritage Press, Milton 2012
What was Acadie before 1755?
This book answers the question by looking at five specific regions of early Acadie: Port-Royal, the Minas Basin and Cobeguit, all of which became part of Nova Scotia at the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713; Île Royale, which remained a French possession in 1713 but became British, under the name Cape Breton, in 1763, and Chipoudie, on the Petcoudiac River, in what came to be called New Acadie by historians, and officially became New Brunswick in 1784.
This study does not deal with the origins, the arrival in the New World or the genealogy of the men and women who first settled the land they made their own, on the northwestern shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The political, administrative and religious development of Acadie will also remain outside our scope, as they have been widely explored by historians of this early period, both in French and English.
Régis Brun's purpose is quite different. His approach to Acadian settlement in its five regions is geographical, with particular attention being paid to the socioeconomic conditions of the people in these areas. He describes the dynamics of the Acadian economy, manifested in the land-based communities and in the coastal trading carried out by businessmen and sea captains in 18th-century Acadie.
Brun explores the methods used by the Acadians to settle the land, to establish their farms, to cultivate the meadows and to create their hamlets and villages. The rivalries that arose among these people are also discussed, since Acadians are far from being the bucolic people frozen in time and made legendary by Longfellow, in his poem on the land of Evangeline.
A series of deportations, the "Grand Dérangement", brought ethnic cleansing to Acadie, followed by an orgy of destruction. This book chronicles these events and the tragic destiny of the deportees and refugees. The work also brings various unpublished documents to the attention of interested readers, with some excerpts provided within.
Chapter 2 THE MINAS BASIN – Grand-Pré, Pigiguit and Rivière-des-Habitants
Chapter 3 COBEGUIT
Chapter 4 CHIPOUDIE
Chapter 5 ÎLE ROYALE: LOUISBOURG AND PORT-TOULOUSE
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