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An Unsettled Conquest: The British Campaign Against the Peoples of Acadia (Early American Studies) Hardcover – September 29, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"A magnificent synthesis. . . . This is a work that must be read not only for its Acadian history but also for its prefiguration of contemporary forms of totalitarianism."—Journal of American History

"A story that resonates down to our own day."—Toronto Star

"An evocative and compelling book."—Ian K. Steele, author of Warpaths: Invasions of North America, 1513-1765

"A compelling book, and it thoroughly traces the fates of the Acadians and Mi'kmaq who were caught between contentious British and French empires."—The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

"Ultimately, the story of Nova Scotia's violent integration into the British system offers a case study in the limits of voluntarism in the ramshackle empire that preceded the Seven Years' War."—William and Mary Quarterly

"Well-written. . . . A good introduction to a very compelling and complex story."—Journal of Military History

About the Author

Geoffrey Plank is Associate Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati and author of Rebellion and Savagery: The Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the British Empire, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Product Details

  • Series: Early American Studies
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (September 29, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812235711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812235715
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,773,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John David Comeaux on September 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a descendant of Acadians I have often entertained the question:Why were my ancestors removed from their homes as they were? The reading of Geoffrey Plank's "An Unsettled Conquest" provided the best, most comprehensive answer I have ever recieved.

Most of the material I have seen or heard previously has been comparatively simplistic or one sided. Professor Plank has delivered depth to the question by means of an examination of the important groups of people involved and the relationships between them.

The book is well researched and the extensive bibliography holds promise for further investigation.

John David Comeaux
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ken Fontenot VINE VOICE on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've read a number of books on the plight of the Acadian people, primarily the works of Carl Brasseaux, Barry Ancelet and Shane K. Bernard. This is the first work that I've read by Geoffrey Plank. In my private readings, I've come to consider Brasseaux the primary source of early Acadian history(pre-Grand Derangement up until the very late 1800's), Bernard the expert on the modern Cajun experience and Ancelet the key force in learning the growth and evolution of Cajun culture over the years. Plank, at least in this book, focuses his energies on the events just prior to and immediately after the British removal of the Acadians in Nova Scotia.

Plank spends quite a bit of time explaining the relationship between the Mi'k Maq peoples and the Acadians in Canada. He goes to great lengths to show that this strong relationship actually helped both groups survive well into the occupation of the British Empire. He also shows how the British attempted to use the trust developed between the two groups against them.

When all is said and done, however, the Acadian people are successfully removed and the Mi'k Maq are silenced. The Acadians are scattered throughout New England, many into indentured servitude, and families are broken up. However, the bulk of this strong group of people manage to keep their much-despised Catholic faith and culture. Some of them even make it back to Canada.

Plank doesn't explore the Acadians in Louisiana very much at all, but you can reference any of the aforementioned writers to get a grasp on that. Remember, Cajun history doesn't begin and end in Louisiana, it started in France, carried over to Canada, and then was scattered up and down the eastern U.S. coast and my beloved Gulf Coast.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. A Michaud on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this detailed history, Plank describes the British campaign to convert or deport French-speaking Catholics living in Acadia, roughly equivalent to today's Nova Scotia. The deportation was the culmination of a seventy-year effort to transform Acadia into a Protestant, English-speaking area loyal to the British crown. Plank uncovered an impressive array of sources, giving immediacy to some of this history. The Mi'Kmaq Indians, often allied with the Acadians, emerge as a significant third party in this long struggle, in which periods of relative peace and cooperation alternated with military conflict and dictatorial methods. My only criticism is that Plank has a tendency to repeat points in other words. A few pages describing today's Acadian cultural survivals in Canada and Louisiana would have been helpful.
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