The Grand Dérangement
(Great Acadian Upheaval)
Halifax, NS, Canada
N 44° 38.598 W 063° 34.058
A monument erected by the Acadian Odyssey Commission in 2005 provides a map and explanation of the The Grand Dérangement or Great Acadian Upheaval that occurred in Nova Scotia in the 18th century. It is located along the Harborwalk in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The British conquered Acadia, present day Nova Scotia, in 1710. The subsequent Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 allowed the Acadians to keep their lands. Over the next forty-five years tension between the French speaking Acadians and their British rulers increased until in 1755, the British began a systematic deportation of the Acadians. This became known as The Grand Dérangement or Great Acadian Upheaval.
A monument in Halifax Harbor provided a map of the deportation/migration routes of the Acadians and explains the series of events that occurred in Nova Scotia in the 18th century. The monument was designed to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Deportation. The Grand Dérangement is explained in both French and English plaques.
The English version is inscribed:
L'Acadie, established by France in 1604, was a strategically located and highly coveted colony. In 1713, it was handed over to England and renamed Nova Scotia. The foundation of Halifax, in 1749, led part of the Acadian population to move to French territory. The remaining Acadians were still perceived as a threat, and in 1755, the British authorities launched their systematic deportation, splitting up families and communities, seizing all lands and possessions.
This was the Grand Dérangement, of Great Upheaval. Nearly 10,000 men, women and children were piled into ships and deported to the Anglo-American colonies, to England and to French territory and forming a resistance. Over the next ten years, almost half of the Acadian nation was lost at sea of died from disease and famine. By 1765, a mere 1,600 survivors remained in Nova Scotia, their fertile land now occupied by settlers from other areas.
Some Acadian families returned to their former homes, but most never again set eyes on Acadie. Many took root in Quebec and France, while in Louisiana they gave rise to a new community that produced the rich Cajun culture. Yet, the Grand Dérangement was unable to wipe out the Acadian presence on its native soil. L'Acadie lives on in Atlantic Canada, speaking French and offering to the world its proud and dynamic culture.