The Acadians are the descendants of French settlers who came to North America from 1604 onward. Most of them originated from the western part of central France. They settled in the territory formerly known as “Acadie”. In its most confined limits, Acadie included the territory covered by present-day mainland Nova Scotia.
The Acadians lived primarily along the shores of the Bay of Fundy where they farmed the land and raised livestock. Despite the fact that they were living in a politically unstable colony, they managed to achieve a reasonable level of prosperity. Situated between New England and New France, Acadie constituted a strategic territory for both Britain and France. As a result of the continuing battles between the two super-powers, the Acadians lived alternately under French and British rule.
In 1713, under the Treaty of Utrecht, France was forced to cede Acadie to Great Britain – once and for all. The Acadians continued to live in Acadie until 1755 when they were deported and scattered throughout the British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, which corresponds to today’s Eastern United States.
By 1720, a few Acadian families had moved to Isle Saint-Jean which was still under French rule. They were later joined by many others, especially in the seven years that preceded the great expulsion of 1755.