Abstract

With regard to Planter Nova Scotia (1760­82), historians have frequently been content to assume that, following the defeat of the French at Louisbourg in 1758, Aboriginal relations had little further significance for the non-Native settlement history of that part of northeastern North America. This essay argues that such a view is mistaken and offers a reexamination of certain key elements of the evidence on the Aboriginal role vis-à-vis New England and the British imperial authorities in Nova Scotia. Far from accomplishing a pacification of Nova Scotia under British rule, the events of the 1750s and early 1760s ­ the expulsion of the Acadians, the British military victories of 1758–60, and the treaties of 1760–61 ­ set the stage for a ten-year era during which Aboriginal and British pacification strategies competed, followed by a partial reconciliation, which was finally swept away by the Loyalist migration. These developments highlight the importance of recognizing eighteenth-century Nova Scotia as contested territory, with Aboriginal history retaining crucial importance far beyond the chronological point at which the region has been conventionally seen as a colonial entity and Aboriginal inhabitants as peripheral figures. More generally, this study contributes to the breakdown of the long-established consensus that the eighteenth century in northeastern North America represented the latter part of a 'colonial period,' and that the American Revolution then established a new and dramatic demarcation between British North America and the United States. Rather, a more complex series of patterns can be identified, in which the history of colonial settlement is just one part of a historiographical triumvirate along with imperial history and Aboriginal history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 669-692
Launched on MUSE
2005-01-03
Open Access
No
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