HE HISTORY OF ACADIA, which began with Champlain’s voyages and the efforts of de Monts, was a part of a far bigger story. During the 17th century the North Atlantic Ocean, which had been forever a barrier between Europe and the unknown, became a passageway to a New World. Some historians have described this invasion of America by Europeans as the most important event in the past 400 years. That movement began with a few adventuresome explorers and traders and swelled into an unstoppable force.

This unit describes the economic and political system in Europe that provided the motivation for the development of colonies in the New World. It continues with the story of the colony of Acadia, which was caught in the crossfire of conflicting ambitions.