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The Thirty Years' War

Thirty Years' War was a series of European conflicts lasting from 1618 to 1648, involving most of the countries of western Europe, and fought mainly in Germany. At first the struggle was primarily based on religious antagonism engendered among Germans by the events of the Protestant Reformation. Protestant and Roman Catholic factions, broadened the war and was a substantial factor in its later stages.

During March of 1744 war broke out between France and England, The War of The Austrian Succession. For thirty years prior to that time there had been peace, one secured by The Treaty of Utrecht, 1713, which by the terms peninsular Nova Scotia was to be English and Cape Breton was to be French. In the intervening years, a fortress was built by the French on Cape Breton, one unequaled in all of English America. This was Louisbourg, the eastern citadel of New France. During these years, 1713 to 1744, the English held their peninsular part with but two ragged and forgotten garrisons: Canso and Annapolis Royal. Annapolis was then the English capital of Nova Scotia and situated at a well established civilian community of French farming inhabitants, the Acadians.

During these days, an English civilian population was practically non-existent in Nova Scotia. During the 17th century Nova Scotia was settled, and exclusively so, by the French. The French settlers which came over beginning in the mid-century came to be known as Acadians. The Acadian families prospered, grew, and expanded their territory throughout the farming lands of peninsular Nova Scotia, being, for the most part, those lands which had been washed by the waters of the Bay of Fundy: from Port Royal, to Minas, to Cobequid and around to Beaubassin. (see map). The Acadians were to remain, by and large, neutral in the French/English conflict during these years. The natives, the Micmac, whose population was small and spread out, were united under their French missionaries and ready, in most engagements, to help their French friends.

It unfolded in Acadia, with the Massacre at Grand Pré (1747). Then the War came to an end with the signing, in Europe, of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. By its terms, Louisbourg was returned to the French; and how, in the result, Halifax was founded in 1749. With the conclusion of the war, one would have thought that this period of time which we are about to review, between 1748 and 1756, would have been years of peace. However, all that the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was to accomplish was to return things back to the status quo anti. The questions in North America, in respect to territorial rights, had not been resolved: they just became more pressing: matters continued to seethe. Historians have expressed the view that the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was less a treaty of peace then a treaty of truce. It was the beginning of the end for Acadia, and helped prompt the Seven Year war, and the end of Acadia.

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