New Brunswick History
The original inhabitants of New Brunswick were the First Nations - members of the Mi'kmaq, the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Passamaquoddy tribes, who lived in the eastern and coastal regions.
In 1604, other French explorers, Pierre du Gua de Months and Samuel de Champlain established a camp at St. Croix Island. Over the next 150 years, other French settlements were founded in the present day New Brunswick. This entire area was claimed by France and named the colony of Acadia.
After numerous conflicts between the French and British , the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713, ceded the Acadia area to Britain. The British forced the Acadians into exile. Many escaped to the northeastern part of present day New Brunswick.
Following the Seven Years' War (1756 – 63), most of present day New Brunswick was absorbed into the colony of Nova Scotia.
Immigration and Provincehood
New Brunswick's isolated location tended to discourage settlement. However, the New England Planters and the Pennsylvania Dutch immigrated to the area in 1766 and settled. In 1783, significant growth occurred when over 14,000 Loyalists from the United States arrived via the Saint John River.
There were many controversies between the Loyalists and the pre-loyalists, finally culminating in the portioning of Nova Scotia, and the establishment of the colony of New Brunswick in 1784. The provincial capital was established at Fredericton.
Immigration continued into the early 1800's with Scottish and Irish settlers arriving. Later immigration included Danish and Jewish settlers.
In the late 1830's, conflicts arose between New Brunswick lumbermen and the farmers from the state of Maine in the U.S., resulting in the Aroostook War. In August 1842, the signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty settled the Northeast Boundary Dispute and established the border between New Brunswick and Maine.
At the Bay of Fundy and the Miramichi River, shipbuilding was the dominant industry throughout the 19th century followed by logging and farming. In the last half of the century, railroads were built across the province, making transportation of resources to other markets a viable source of income.
In 1867, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia joined together to form the Dominion of Canada. Following this confederation, the provinces suffered significant economic decline, primarily caused by the new national policies and trade barriers that had been established resulting in disrupted trading relationships with New England.
The Great Fire of 1877 in Saint John and the decline of the shipbuilding industry also affected New Brunswick's economy. The Panic of 1893 significantly affected the export economy and many workers lost their jobs and moved west to other parts of Canada or to the United States. New Brunswick Today
The Acadians, mainly French speaking, were isolated from the English-speaking residents of the province and in 1969, the Official Languages Act was passed making French an official language, equal with English. (New Brunswick is the only official bilingual province).
At the beginning of the 20th century, the economy began to expand with manufacturing growth in the textile industry and forestry. Heavy metals mining is prominent in the northern part of the province and includes one of the world's largest potash deposits.
Although New Brunswick has a signficant coast line, it is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean while its vastinterior contributes to its continental climate. The diverse landscape ranges from the Appalachian Mountains to the Miramichi Highlands to the eastern and central lowlands. One of the Marine wonders of the World, the Bay of Fundy, is home to the highest tides in the world.
A visit to New Brunswick offers a most unique Maritime experience whether enjoying the great outdoors or the lively cities with their eclectic blends of cultures.