Blupete's Nova Scotia History Page

Book #2: Settlement, Revolution & War (1760-1815).TOC
Part 2, "Revolution And The 14th Colony." (1760-83)
Synopses, Chapters 1 to 14

(Now Available As A Book)

1. - Introduction (9k):-
"To express a preliminary and synoptic view: Nova Scotia and Newfoundland had insufficient numbers to revolt and those that occupied these northern outposts were either obedient military types, or others totally dependant on military trade. As for Quebec: the population consisted of Frenchmen who were enjoying more 'rights' under British occupation then ever they did under French rule."

2. - The Colonies (7k):-
"Great Britain was to loose her American colonies because George the Third and his ministers badly mishandled a developing situation, the roots of which were many and some of which were long. The lost did not come about -- notwithstanding the expression of the high feelings that were running at the time -- because of a totalitarian regime in England. On the contrary ...."

3. - International Trade (9k):-
"The most valuable commodities of the time were to be found in the southern colonies. The northern colonies, the "New Englanders," and which up to the time of the American Revolution would include the province of Nova Scotia, just had to make out best way they could. Smuggling along the coast became, for some, a way of life ..."

4. - The Deep Roots of Discontent (11k):-
"This attitude of the typical English aristocrat, whether he be a member of the government at London or a regular officer in the military and as was observed to be displayed towards the colonials that marched up and took Louisbourg in 1745, is, but an example of an attitude that had long existed. Most Englishmen believed in the doctrine of innate British superiority ..."

5. - New Politics (6k):-
"The 18th Century English colonists came easily to understand and desire a government as was outlined by this new age, The Age of Political Enlightenment. Great numbers of literate people, particularly in New England, seized upon the notion that church and king did not take precedence over their "rights." The man in the street, in increasing numbers, was learning how to read and printing presses were taking the place of scribing monks, pamphleteers with republican ideas were out amongst the public making their living."

6. - Acts of Parliament (1764-6) (23k):-
"It should be remembered that the colonists were not the only British subjects suffering from taxes. Before the war Britain's national debt had stood at 60 million £s; after, in 1764, 133 million. The tax burden was, at the end of the war, a lot less than those back in England: 'the public debt in the colonies was eighteen shillings per person; that of Great Britain stood at eighteen pounds per person.' Drawing revenue from the colonies to help was not politically painful, as no vote was required in parliament; but, in any event, given that the war bills had to be paid, taxing the colonists stuck most to be a fair thing to do."
[Sugar Act, Currency Act, The Quartering Act, The Subject of Taxes & Stamp Act.]

7. - The Right Mix for Revolution (16k):-
"In the 13 colonies the explosive mix was generally right, and, particularly right in Massachusetts when the mix was set off at Lexington Green: the explosion was sufficient enough to ignite, in turn, the rest of the thirteen colonies (barely so in certain cases). As for Nova Scotia: the ignition source was somewhat distant and the mix was not quite right.."
[Townshend Acts]

8. - Tumult of Passions (14k):-
"On December 16th, 1773, there came into Boston Harbour three ships loaded with 298 chests of tea worth about £11,000. These ships were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver. I will not go into the details as to what was to happen to this valuable cargo; the story is well known. We shall take up the consequences of throwing tea chests into Boston Harbour when we come to our next chapter. The news, incidently, of the "Boston Tea Party" was soon to circulate in Nova Scotia."
[The "Massacre" (1770), The Gaspee (1772), A Tea Party (1773).]

9. - The Intolerable Acts (1774) (22k):-
"These Intolerable Acts, the details of which we have now set out, set the stage for the explosive and violent acts which began within a year of their enactment. Benjamin Franklin likened New England to a blacksmith's forge into which Great Britain introduced a Magazine of Gunpowder. People, even in Nova Scotia, knew of this explosive situation."
[The Boston Port Act, The Massachusetts Government Act, The Administration of Justice Act, The Quartering Act & The Quebec Act.]

10. - The Events of 1775 (26k):-
"So it was, that Governor Legge of Nova Scotia cast an anxious eye over the remoter parts of his domain, and thus to give his impressions in a letter to Lord Dartmouth. For those people who had recently come from Massachusetts -- upon them, 'little or no dependence can be placed' in respect to the defence of Nova Scotia. And so he worried. At Boston, General Gage was faced with a real shooting war and most all of the British forces were concentrated there, with Gage, at Boston."
[Lexington & Concord, Bunker Hill, The Raising of the Militia in Nova Scotia & Americans at Quebec.]

11. - The Events of 1776 (15k):-
"During the winter of 1775/1776: Howe's forces were cut off at Boston without supplies except for that which came in by sea from Nova Scotia; the British troops were kept in their place by 20,000 armed and entrenched colonials positioned at the neck of land leading into Boston. Arnold was camped before Quebec. Down the coast from Nova Scotia there were Americans at Casco and Penobscot sympathetic to the revolutionary cause with '4 schooners and 1600 men' ..."

12. - The Eddy Rebellion at Cumberland (November, 1776) (20k):-
"After the flush of the first success, viz., the taking of the guard at Shepody and the sloop below the fort, things pretty much went quickly down hill for the attackers. ... Eddy marched his forces over to Fort Cumberland and made camp about a mile away and there joined by a number of the inhabitants so that Eddy's force was now about 180 men. Fort Cumberland was garrisoned by Lieut. Colonel Joseph Goreham and his Fencibles, 260 in number."

13. - The Concluding Years (1777-83) (19k):-
"Nova Scotia was essentially insulated from the war between the colonies and Britain simply because she is surrounded by the sea; well, not so much by the sea as by the fact that the struggling colonists had no navy. Great Britain had big gun boats which were regularly calling in at Halifax to avail themselves of the Royal Navy dockyard. France however did have a navy; and, when, in 1778, she threw in on the side of the revolting colonies, there was to be much concern in Nova Scotia."

14. - Conclusions (12k):-
"It was the fission trigger of the merchants of Boston that ignited the revolution ... It did not catch in Nova Scotia. The bland explanation of an insufficient population base might be coupled with another fact ... Nova Scotia, Halifax aside, might be compared to the up river lands of the American colonies where the people had not the same interest in the revolution as did the people who lived and worked in the great trading ports such as Boston, and upon which, British taxation fell most heavily."


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