In the year 1713, the English Government founded the Province of Nova Scotia on the territory of today’s Canada. Since the British Crown was convinced that, sooner or later, a conflict with France over the French territories along the St. Lawrence would be unavoidable, it tried to strengthen its presence. To be able to block the mouth of the St. Lawrence, which was vital for the French enemy, the British government decided in the middle of the 18th century to create Halifax as a strong foothold in the region.
In the year 1713, the English Government founded the Province of Nova Scotia on the territory of today’s Canada. Since the British Crown was convinced that, sooner or later, a conflict with France over the French territories along the St. Lawrence would be unavoidable, it tried to strengthen its presence. To be able to block the mouth of the St. Lawrence, which was vital for the French enemy, the British government decided in the middle of the 18th century to create Halifax as a strong foothold in the region.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Map

Eastern Canada around 1770: settlement and towns.

F.W. Putzger, Historical Atlas of the World

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


The building of the sea-fortress brought the first German immigrants in large numbers to what is today Canada. For military and economic reasons, the fortress needed inhabited environs. Therefore, settlers experienced in agriculture were sought. Moreover, they were supposed to be Protestants -- an additional safeguard against Catholic France.

Between 1750 and 1752, 2700 emigrants came to Halifax, 65% of which were Germans. Most of them came from the Palatinate and Hesse, many others from present-day Lower Saxony.
The building of the sea-fortress brought the first German immigrants in large numbers to what is today Canada. For military and economic reasons, the fortress needed inhabited environs. Therefore, settlers experienced in agriculture were sought. Moreover, they were supposed to be Protestants -- an additional safeguard against Catholic France.

Between 1750 and 1752, 2700 emigrants came to Halifax, 65% of which were Germans. Most of them came from the Palatinate and Hesse, many others from present-day Lower Saxony.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Why were many people from Lower Saxony among the first emigrants?

When in 1700 the last rightful successor to the throne among the Stuarts died, the English Parliament decided to extend the right of succession by passing the Act of Settlement. As a granddaughter of a Stuart, Hanoveranian Princess Sophie was declared heiress to the throne.

On June 8, 1714, Princess Sophie died, and only eight weeks later the English Queen Anne was to follow her as the last of the House of Stuart. The Hanoveranian Elector Louis ascended the English throne as George I., followed in 1727 by his son George August as George II.

Linked by personal union, both states - the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Principality of Hanover - remained basically independent, but could support each other in pursuing their respective political, economic or military interests. This becomes particularly apparent with the emigration of Hanoveranian citizens to the British colonies in North America.
Why were many people from Lower Saxony among the first emigrants?

When in 1700 the last rightful successor to the throne among the Stuarts died, the English Parliament decided to extend the right of succession by passing the Act of Settlement. As a granddaughter of a Stuart, Hanoveranian Princess Sophie was declared heiress to the throne.

On June 8, 1714, Princess Sophie died, and only eight weeks later the English Queen Anne was to follow her as the last of the House of Stuart. The Hanoveranian Elector Louis ascended the English throne as George I., followed in 1727 by his son George August as George II.

Linked by personal union, both states - the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Principality of Hanover - remained basically independent, but could support each other in pursuing their respective political, economic or military interests. This becomes particularly apparent with the emigration of Hanoveranian citizens to the British colonies in North America.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Family Relations Between the English Royal Family and the Principality of Hanover

1701: decision of the English parliament regarding the succession to the throne of Sophie and her heirs due to their descent from the Stuarts and their Protestant faith.

Historical Museum Hanover

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


King George II

Portrait of George II., King of England (1727-1760)

Historical Museum Hanover

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Map

Map of the Principality of Hanover since 1714

Historical Museum Hannover

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Explain how royal lineage and political connections affected emigration of Germans to Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Describe how the first Germans came to leave their homeland for Nova Scotia
  • Describe Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Identify the motives of the British government in encouraging emigration to Nova Scotia

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