Introduction - The Great Awakening

Nova Scotia During the American War of Independence from 1776 to 1783, the majority of the people in the British North American colonies remained neutral. Quebec, Ile-St-Jean (Later Prince Edward Island) and Newfoundland all had reasons for abstaining from the Revolution. But the case of Nova Scotia is all the more puzzling. In contrast to the other British North American colonies, over half of Nova Scotia's approximately 20,000 inhabitants had come from New England. (Francis, Jones, Smith 180). Many New Englander's had strong family and economic ties with the people in Nova Scotia. There were several factors which contributed to their decision to remain neutral. One factor was the geographical nature of the colony. The settlements were scattered throughout the long peninsula causing a lack of communication. Another factor was the strong presence of the British military in Halifax. These were factors which contributed to Nova Scotia's decision to remain neutral, however these were not the main reasons why they did not participate in the Revolution. One extremely important event had transformed the people of Nova Scotia ideologically, religiously, and politically. That event was the Great Awakening in Nova Scotia (1760-1791). It was this Great Religious revival in Nova Scotia which was the main factor in Nova Scotia's neutrality.