Nova Scotia, one of the three Maritime and one of the four Atlantic provinces
Canada, bordered on the north by the Bay of Fundy, the province of New Brunswick,
Northumberland Strait, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and on the east, south, and
by the Atlantic Ocean. Nova Scotia consists primarily of a mainland section, linked
New Brunswick by the Isthmus of Chignecto, and Cape Breton Island, separated from
mainland by the Strait of Canso.
On July 1, 1867, Nova Scotia became one of the founding members of the Canadian
Confederation. The province's name, which is Latin for New Scotland, was first
to the region in the 1620s by settlers from Scotland.
Nova Scotia can be divided into four major geographical regions-the Atlantic
Uplands, the Nova Scotia Highlands, the Annapolis Lowland, and the Maritime Plain.
The Atlantic Uplands, which occupy most of the southern part of the province, are
up of ancient resistant rocks largely overlain by rocky glacial deposits. The Nova
Highlands are composed of three separate areas of uplands. The western section
North Mountain, a long ridge of traprock along the Bay of Fundy; the central
takes in the Cobequid Mountains, which rise to 367 m (1204 ft) atop Nuttby
and the eastern section contains the Cape Breton Highlands, with the province's
point. The Annapolis Lowland, in the west, is a small area with considerable
Nova Scotia's fourth region, the Maritime Plain, occupies a small region fronting
Northumberland Strait. The plain is characterized by a low, undulating landscape
substantial areas of fertile soil.
The area now known as Nova Scotia was originally inhabited by tribes of
Abenaki and Micmac peoples. The Venetian explorer John Cabot, sailing under the
English flag, may have reached Cape Breton Island in 1497.
The first settlers of the area were the French, who called it Acadia and
Port Royal in 1605. Acadia included present-day New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and
Prince Edward Island. The English, rivals of the French in Europe and the New
refused to recognize French claims to Acadia, which they called Nova Scotia (New
Scotland) and granted to the Scottish poet and courtier Sir William Alexander in
This act initiated nearly a century of Anglo-French conflict, resolved by the