After the loss of Acadia and Newfoundland in 1713, France consolidated and protected its territories in the St. Lawrence Valley. Louisbourg, on Īle Royale (Cape Breton Island), a purportedly impregnable fortress, was designed to serve as a blockade at the entrance to Canada. Commerce developed, and it soon became an important and much coveted trading centre. In 1745, during the War of the Austrian Succession, Louisbourg was placed under siege by troops from New England, backed by the English naval forces. The fortified town suffered heavy damage and was forced to surrender, but the French population remained in place. The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle gave the whole of Īle Royale, including the settlement of Louisbourg, back to France. This led to a marked revival in trading activity. But in 1758, a new siege, which lasted 60 days, was imposed by the English army and naval forces. The outcome was an English victory and the destruction of the town and its fortifications. The approximately 4,000 inhabitants were obliged to return to France.

The Siege of Louisbourg
A View of Louisbourg when that city was besieged in 1758, November 11, 1762
CA ANC C-5907