Introduction - The Great Awakening
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,
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.