Trade or Raid: Acadian Settlers and Native Indians Before 1755

26 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2017

Date Written: August 28, 2017


The peopling of North America by European settlers often conflicted with the property rights of aboriginals. Trade could, and often did, represent a peaceful and mutually beneficial interaction between these two groups. However, more often than not, raid was preferred over trade. This was not always the case (as exemplified in this paper) for the French settlers of Atlantic Canada, known as Acadians, who enjoyed exceptionally peaceful relations with First Nations. In this paper, I argue that this colony was peripheral in the designs of European governments and was largely stateless and was left to fend for itself. As such, all the costs of raiding were borne by settlers who favored trade over raid for more than a century.

Keywords: Rent-seeking, First Nations, Economic history, Violence, Frontier economies

JEL Classification: N31, N41, N91, P26

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent, Trade or Raid: Acadian Settlers and Native Indians Before 1755 (August 28, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Bates College ( email )

Department of Economics
Lewiston, ME
United States

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