The Oaths of Allegiance and Acadian Neutrality
Analysis of Historical Documents
After the Treaty of Utrecht was signed in 1713, Acadie became a British possession. The British authorities then demanded that their new subjects take an unconditional oath of allegiance to ensure their loyalty, but the majority of Acadians refused. Instead, they proposed to swear a conditional oath of allegiance in which they declared themselves neutral.
At the time, it was not uncommon for the British Crown to demand that all their subjects renew their oath of allegiance, especially when a new monarch took the throne. Each time, however, to the great displeasure of the British authorities, the Acadians would put forth their neutrality.
The subject of the oaths of allegiance remains delicate and is often regarded as one of the causes of the Deportation in 1755. For the Acadians who returned in Nova Scotia after 1764, oaths of allegiance were again required and an essential condition of their return.
How did the Acadians' oaths of allegiance to the British Crown change before and after the Deportation? Comment on the concept of Acadian neutrality in regards to these changes.
Do a comparative chart to help assist you in answering the start-up question.
- Consult the History section (particularly The Neutrality and Return and Rebuild sections) to learn more about the historical context of the documents being studied and the concepts of Acadian neutrality and allegiance.
- Learn about the historical documents that will be analysed.
- Make a comparative chart listing the conditions placed by both the Acadians and the British in these oaths of allegiance.
- Comment on the concept of Acadian neutrality based on the results of your comparative chart.
- Participate in a class discussion to answer the start-up question and share your ideas on the subject.
Here are a few keywords which you will learn during this activity:
Essential and optional resources
- Historical documents:
- Web site: 1755: The History and the Stories
- Web site: 400 ans de présence française au Canada, 1604-2004