Category: GeographyUpdated on: August 19, 2021Reading time: 2min
New Brunswick is one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces and is the only province constitutionally bilingual. It was created as a result of the partitioning of the British Colony of Nova Scotiain 1784.
Fredericton is the capital, Moncton is the largest metropolitan (CMA) area and Saint John is the most populous city.
In the 2011 nationwide census, Statistics Canada estimated the provincial population to have been 751,171.
The majority of the population is English-speaking, but there is also a large Francophone minority (33%), chiefly of Acadian origin.
The province is named for the city of Braunschweig, known in English as Brunswick, located in modern-day Lower Saxony in northern Germany.
The then-colony was named in 1784 to honour the reigning British monarch, George III. Braunschweig is the ancestral home of the British monarch George I and his successors.
The original First Nations inhabitants of New Brunswick were members of three distinct tribes.
The whole maritime region was at that time claimed by France and was designated as the colony of Acadia.
The Maliseet from their headquarters at Meductic on the Saint John River, participated in numerous raids and battles against New England during Father Rale’s War and King William’s War.
Fort Anne (Fredericton) fell during the 1759 campaign, and following this, all of present-day New Brunswick came under British control.
There were exceptions however, such as the coming of New England Planters to the Sackville region and the arrival of Pennsylvania Dutch settlers in Moncton in 1766.
By the late 1830s, population growth and competing lumber interests in the upper Saint John River valley created the need for a definite boundary in the area.
Government services were often not available in French, and the infrastructure in predominantly Francophone areas was noticeably less developed than in the rest of the province; this changed with the election of Premier Louis Robichaud in 1960.