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    Canada Early Acadia
    Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies

    Although fishermen and whalers occasionally wintered over, and fur traders established trading posts in the St. Lawrence Valley, there were no permanent European settlements in North America until the early 1600s.

    In the Atlantic region, French settlements were centred mainly in the salt-marsh lowlands around the Bay of Fundy, known as Acadia. Settlers originally came to work at the fur-trade post at Port Royal, established in 1605, but they later turned to farming. For a brief period, Acadia was lost to the English, but by the 1630s, it was established as a French colony to counterbalance the British presence in New England.

    Many of the French colonists came from western France, a region that is environmentally similar to Acadia, so it is not surprising that their traditional agricultural methods were useful in farming the new land. For example, dike making, a technique that had been used successfully to reclaim salt marshes in Holland and France, was equally effective in Acadia.

    Farming settlements were almost totally self-sufficient. Profitable trade with the French and the English allowed the Acadians to remain politically neutral and to flourish with little outside help for over 100 years.

    NOTE: The information regarding Canada on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Canada Early Acadia information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Canada Early Acadia should be addressed to the Library of Congress.

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    Revised 04-Jul-02
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