Nova Scotia Album
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Nova Scotia, jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean at the eastern end of Canada, is sometimes called the “Wharf of North America” as a reflection of its fishing industry. To attract tourists, it is also sometimes called “Canada’s Ocean Playground”. Playground or wharf, it is a great place to spend your vacation, especially if you like taking pictures. Along the Atlantic coast, there’s no shortage of picturesque fishing villages. Go to the Bay of Fundy at low tide, and you can find fishing boats sitting on mud.
The first European to visit Nova Scotia (besides possibly the Vikings) was John Cabot in 1497. The first French explorer to visit was Jacques Cartier in 1534, but it took another 70 years before colonists arrived. In 1605, French settlers were the first Europeans to establish settlements in the province, first known as Acadia, at Port Royal. They returned to France en masse in 1607, but settlers returned in 1610. During that century, ownership of Acadia was contested by France and England, but the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1632 established French ownership, and settlement continued. By 1750, over 10,000 European settlers lived in Acadia.
Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, ownership flip-flopped frequently between the English and French, even after treaties were signed. In 1756, the Seven Years War broke out, and in 1758, French colonies in Acadia fell to the English. An estimated three quarters of the French in Acadia were deported. Some of the remainder fled to Louisiana and became known as the Cajuns. Others perished from hunger and disease.
The Treaty of Paris in 1763 established British ownership of the maritime territories, as well as all of New France. At first, the whole region was named “Nova Scotia”. But in 1769, Île Saint-Jean became a separate province, later to be renamed Prince Edward Island in 1799. In 1784, the territory later to be called New Brunswick was detached from the province after the arrival of thousands of Loyalists who wanted their own colonial government.
In the meantime, a number of Acadians were allowed to return, provided they took an oath of allegiance. At first, though, they did not have the same rights as the British since they were Catholic. But by 1830, Acadians in all three Maritime provinces had the right to vote.
In 1867, Nova Scotia was one of the first four provinces in the Canadian confederation. Today, the province has the seventh largest population in Canada.