The Grand Dérangement and the Deportation in Time

Time Line

Duration: two to three 60-minute periods


Reflect on the notions of Grand Dérangement and Deportation with a time line and a discussion.

Background information for the teacher

  • Recent studies on the period of the expulsion of the Acadians reveal a distinction between the concepts of Grand Dérangement and Deportation:
    • The Deportation refers to the period from 1755 to 1764, starting with the actual decision to deport the Acadians made by the British colonial authorities in Halifax on July 28 1755, up until the time when they granted them permission to return to the territory in 1764. This is the usual consensus, but for some scholars this period ends in 1762 or 1763.
    • The Grand Dérangement, however, has a broader reach: it stretches from 1749-1750 to around 1816. In fact, it has been dated to 1749 and the construction of Halifax or to 1750 and the destruction of the Acadian villages in the region of Beaubassin, ordered by the French authorities to counter the British attacks. These two pre-Deportation events mark the beginning of the Acadian migrations of that period. Along with the different expulsions that took place during the Deportation, the return migrations, either towards Acadie or to other welcoming lands, are part of the Grand Dérangement. These include, the Acadians settled in France who moved to Louisiana in 1785 and all the other different "return" movements that went on until the start of the 19th century.
    • The last recorded migration of the Grand Dérangement is that of a group of Acadians who returned to settle in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon in 1816. One member of that group, Marie-Blanche LeBlanc from Beaubassin, holds the sad title for having been deported the oftenest. The British authorities deported her a total of four times. In 1755, she was deported to South Carolina and from there she went to île Saint-Jean the following year. In 1758, she was deported from there to France. She settled in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon in 1774 and in 1778 was once again deported to France. She returned to Miquelon, but in 1794 she was deported one last time to France via Boston. In 1816, along with other Acadians, she definitively returned to Miquelon.
  • To complete this activity, consult sections 2 to 8 of the History section:
  • The archival documents that the students must find to illustrate their time line are in the Search section. They include such relevant documents as [letters from Charles Lawrence], [images from Fort Beauséjour] and [petitions].


  • Activate previous knowledge. Start-up question:
    • Identify a few key moments of Acadie's history.
    • Is the Deportation the key event of this history? Why?
    • Do we give it any other names? (expulsion, Grand Dérangement, etc.)
  • Present the intended learning results.
  • Present the proposed activity (see Start-up Question and Guidelines sections in the student's explanation sheet).
  • Necessary resources for the completion of the time line:
    • Material seen in class;
    • PowerPoint template for the time line;
    • Consult the History and Search sections


  • Ask the student to consult the History and Search sections.
  • Ask the student to complete the task by using the different sections of the History and Search sections.
  • Prepare the time line. Demonstrate by using History section: The Neutrality:
    • Find the events that led to the Deportation.
    • Search for an original document that will help illustrate the time line (Search section).
  • Create the time line with the PowerPoint template provided OR select and identify the information you will need to create the time line on paper, in class or at home.
  • In a class discussion, students share and compare content of the time lines (similarities and differences). Try to answer the start-up question and determine if Deportation and Grand Dérangement are different notions or not. Here are a few questions to guide the discussion:
    • Why did you choose certain particular elements to illustrate your time line?
    • Is the time line equally covered by the events chosen or did certain events seem more important than others (for example, around 1755)?
    • In your opinion, what is the Grand Dérangement? What is the Deportation? Explain.


  • Review the concepts of the Deportation and Grand Dérangement. Have the students prepare a well thought-out answer to the start-up question: Do the terms Deportation and Grand Dérangement have the same significance or are they two different notions?
  • Make the student aware of what he/she has learned and the method that has led to this new knowledge (synthesis, charting the information, time line, demonstration).
  • Ask the student to propose other strategies to present the information gathered.

Essential and optional resources

Optional tool

Essential resources

  • Web site: 1755: The History and the Stories
    History section; Search section

Optional resources