From their first settlement in 1604, the French in Acadia saw their governance transferred between France and England several times. From 1670, following the Treaty of Breda in 1667, a relatively stable period began, which enabled them to consolidate their position. In 1713, under the Treaty of Utrecht, Acadia officially became Nova Scotia, the name given by the English to the region with the 1606 Charter of King James I, which granted to the Virginia Company a territory extending north to the 45th parallel. Most Acadians, now British subjects, chose to remain on their land, but they refused to swear allegiance to the King of England. They wished to remain neutral during all wars, and demanded the inclusion of a clause absolving them from the obligation to take up arms against France, England or the Mi'kmaq. In a fragile peace that lasted until 1748, Acadians experienced a new period of growth and prosperity in Annapolis Royal (the new name for Port Royal) and in the villages of Beaubassin, des Mines and Grand-Pré.

The Acadians in Nova Scotia
Edict from Queen Anne of England granting to the inhabitants of Acadia the right to avail themselves of their lands and possessions, June 23, 1713
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