The Great Upheaval

The Great Upheaval

The Great Upheaval

The original Acadians were French settlers who came to Acadia, which is now part of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, during the early 17th century. In 1713, the British took over Acadia, but the Acadians continued to live there until the 1750s when the British expelled them. This event, known as the Great Upheaval, was tragic. However, in the 1760s, the British allowed the Acadians to return, and their culture remains alive and well in the Maritimes today.

During the early 18th century, Britain and France fought over Acadia, but Acadian life did not change much after the British took control. However, in 1730, the Acadians took a neutrality oath. The British became intolerant of the Acadians in the 1750s due to the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War and suspicions that the Acadians were not neutral. In 1755, Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence of Nova Scotia attempted to force Acadian leaders to pledge allegiance to Britain, but they refused, and he imprisoned them. The Acadians were subsequently ordered to leave Acadia, and the British expelled approximately 10,000 of them from 1755 to 1763. 

Deportation Order

The British attempted to quickly round up the Acadians and sent many of them to the 13 Colonies, but they did not want them to go to New France. Many Acadians fought back, but they were defeated easily, and others fled to the forests or French territories. The British searched for them, and some Acadians were deported, while others starved. Although some Acadians returned to the Maritimes, their land had been taken by colonists from New England. Acadian culture was forever changed by the expulsion, but it remains one of the most important and distinct cultures in the Maritimes today.

Notably, many Canadians are descendants of the Acadians, and some Acadians who were sent to Louisiana have come to be known as “Cajuns.” The British became intolerant of the Acadians in the 1750s due to the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War and suspicions that the Acadians were not neutral. In 1755, Lieutenant Governor Charles Lawrence of Nova Scotia attempted to force Acadian leaders to pledge allegiance to Britain, but they refused, and he imprisoned them. The Acadians were subsequently ordered to leave Acadia, and the British expelled approximately 10,000 of them from 1755 to 1763.

The British attempted to quickly round up the Acadians and sent many of them to the 13 Colonies, but they did not want them to go to New France. Many Acadians fought back, but they were defeated easily, and others fled to the forests or French territories. The British searched for them, and some Acadians were deported, while others starved. Although some Acadians returned to the Maritimes, their land had been taken by colonists from New England. Acadian culture was forever changed by the expulsion, but it remains one of the most important and distinct cultures in the Maritimes today. 

The Great Upheaval monument

Notably, many Canadians are descendants of the Acadians, and some Acadians who were sent to Louisiana have come to be known as “Cajuns.”

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