The events of the mid 1700's leading up to 1776 changed the landscape of North America and ultimately the world. The Thirteen Colonies revolted from their mother country of Britain and created the new country of the United States of America. One British colony that did not revolt was Nova Scotia. However, this paper will show that if Nova Scotia was not so scattered, if it had the right leadership, and if the feelings of isolation between Nova Scotia and the Thirteen Colonies was not so strong, Nova Scotia would have been the fourteenth colony.
The reasons why Nova Scotia did not revolt are numerous. The communities of the colony were scattered and the people were far from centralized. This, along with the fact that there were so many different peoples in the region led to a lack of nationalism in the colony. In 1775, Nova Scotia had a population of about 200,000 with 75% of those being New Englanders but there were also British, French, Acadians and Indians present as well.1 To throw together an effective revolution from this multi-cultured group would have called for great organization and a superior leader, of which Nova Scotia definitely had none.
The main points that show how close Nova Scotia was to revolting are: the legal reaction to sedation talk, the economic situation and policies of Halifax and a specific example of the Eddy Revolution. The Halifax government reacted strongly to rebellious talk, arresting and charging all perceived threats with sedation, a similar but lesser charge to treason. The government created laws to allow repression and harassment of suspected rebels.2 This use of formal law shows just how serious that the government thought the situation was. Also, economically, Nova Scotia was controlled by the mercantile elite of Halifax. These elite wanted to remain neutral during the war so they could profit from selling to both sides. This gave the impression that all of Nova Scotia wanted neutrality, causing feelings of alienation and isolation from the Thirteen Colonies.