Political Context

The signature of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 marked the end of the War of the Spanish Succession and the definitive transformation of Acadie in to the British colony of Nova Scotia, as well as the start of a long period of political instability in Acadie. The Acadians who inhabited this New Scotland had to choose between leaving for French territory such as île Royale (today's Cape Breton) or île Saint-Jean (today's Prince Edward Island), or swearing an unconditional oath of allegiance to the monarch in London. Instead, the Acadians proposed a compromise: they wished to remain on their lands and stay neutral in the event of a conflict between France and Great Britain. British colonial authorities grudgingly accepted since they did not have the military means in place to dissuade them. From 1744 on, France attempted to reconquer Acadie and Acadian sympathisers, including Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil joined their ranks, compromising the already precarious Acadian neutrality.
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