Saturday, November 29, 2008
The history guy in me has to post this. I read Longfellow's poem, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, and it knocked me dead. I wanted to read more about the plight of the Acadians. The English had gained control of Acadia after 1713 in the Treaty of Utrecht following the War of the Spanish Succession enthroning King Phillip V, a grandson of Louis the XIV.
As a result of the war, the succession of French kings was broken (Part of the Treaty), and Phillip was made the King of Spain. England gained French territory around the mouth of the St. Lawrence Seaway including Acadia. They renamed it Nova Scotia. The French people were left there until hostilities heated up between France and England. There were four French and Indian Wars between France and England, the last ending in 1763, the one that is known to us as the French and Indian War. The English were worried about the loyalty of the Acadians to the French and eventually expelled them in 1755.
Robbie Robertson of The Band wrote Acadian Driftwood about the same situation. These are the little things of history that we don't often hear about. The Acadians moved into the Louisiana area and settled in great numbers in New Orleans. They are known to us as Cajuns. Their music is a large part of America and it is one of the many types of music we love today and call American. Little known history. I love it and I give it to my students everyday.