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Module 6

The 14th Colony: Nova Scotia and the American Revolution

Daniel Samson

The American Revolution made Canada. Most people understand this, but forget that Nova Scotia and Canada were also British North American colonies. Though few Canadians joined the revolution, there were outbreaks of rebellion and military operations in Nova Scotia. This module explores the different explanations historians have offered for why Nova Scotia ultimately failed to become the 14th state.

Primary sources:

  1. Text: Simeon Perkins, Diary (1776)
  2. Text: Nova Scotia Petition, Robert Hanson Harrison to Washington, Cambridge Mass., (27 March 1776)
  3. Text: Resolutions of the Inhabitants of Maugerville (May 1776)
  4. Mikmaq Chiefs Decline America’s Invitation to War against Britain (1776)
  5. Map (detail): Southwestern Nova Scotia, from Jno. Mitchell, ‘A map of the British and French Dominions’ (1755)
  6. Map: ‘Sketch of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with notes.’ A spy’s map of defences at Halifax, American Intelligence (25 September 1780)

Secondary sources:

  1. J.B. Brebner. The Neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia: A Marginal Colony During the Revolutionary Years (1937)
  2. Gordon Stewart and George Rawlyk. A People Highly Favoured of God: The Nova Scotia Yankees and the American Revolution (1968)
  3. John G. Reid. ‘Pax Britannica or Pax Indigena? Planter Nova Scotia and Competing Strategies of Pacification’ Canadian Historical Review (2004)
  4. Elizabeth Mancke. The Fault Lines of Empire: Political Differentiation in Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, CA. 1760-1830. (2006)

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