The historical term for the forcible removal of French settlers from New France (now Eastern Canada) in the 1750s. The Acadians were deported, and their lands were given to English loyalists.

Longfellow's poem Evangeline describes this sad time. Many Acadians resettled in the French territory of Louisiana, where subsquently, the term Acadian was anglicized to Cajun.

The story of the Acadians and the Acadian Expulsion is little known today, lost amongst the many tragedies of the era, a precursor to the ethnic cleansing that would follow throughout North America. Acadia was a colony that existed in what is now Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the highland parts of the Gaspé peninsula and of northern Maine {corrected by Cletus the Foetus}, the history of which is interesting in its own right, but a colony that possessed two distinct characteristics: Acadians lived and intermarried with the local Mi'kmaq Indians, and Acadians saw themselves as an independent and neutral party outside of the conflict between the French and English that lead to the French and Indian War.

What made the Acadians unique and worthy of some study is the way in which they present an alternate view of American history. Mainly semi-literate and uneducated, they showed distinct savvy in dealing with the French and British monarchies, managing to exist outside of the laws of whomever governed them right up until the Acadian Expulsion. The Acadians founded a Republic without ever declaring independence. Furthermore, they existed peacefully with the native population of North America. This should show what America could have been.

Unfortunately, their independence and refusal to submit to a crown without retaining certain rights (though this is not a refusal to submit to a crown, the Acadians had no concept of that), along with New England’s construing of their unique status with the Native Americans to use the Acadians as scapegoats for the frequent raids and atrocities suffered by them at the hands of local tribes, that proved to be their end.

One of the first incidents of ethnic cleansing in North America, the British planned their “Noble Scheme” to scatter the Acadians throughout the colonies, therefore separating them from their French brethren and ensuring that they would not become enemies. The Acadians were forcibly taken by ship and resettled throughout the colonies, effectively obliterating the Acadian national identity and severely degrading the Acadian culture (though it resurfaced as the Cajun culture) {clarified by Cletus the Foetus}.

Further and more articulate reading: A Great and Noble Scheme: The Tragic Story of the Expulsion of the French Acadians from Their American Homeland by John Mack Faragher

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