The maritime province of Prince Edward Island, on an island off Canadaís east coast, is the smallest province in the nation, though it does not have the smallest population, or gross domestic product. Its rich, unspoiled natural wonders have earned PEI the nickname Garden of the Gulf,
Prince Edward Island was first a home to the by the Mi'kmaq First Nations tribe, dating back some 10,000 years. Early life was supported primarily through hunting, fishing and simple agriculture.
French explorer Jacques Cartier landed here in the early 1500s, and fell in love with the island. By the early 1600s, French settlers had established the colony of Acadia, and laid claim to the island.
Trade was established with the First Nationís tribes, though revenues were low. With the changing political influences over maritime Canada came the expulsion of Acadian residents from neighboring Nova Scotia, many of whom moved to PEI.
In 1720, the French founded the settlement of Port La Joye, which would soon become Charlottetown, the provincial capital.
In 1763, the island was transferred to Great Britain, as a result of the Treaty of Paris. The name was officially changed from Acadia to St. John's Island.
The population saw minor growth as a result of Empire Loyalists fleeing the United States, then in the throes of the American Revolution. In 1798, in an effort to assert independence and forge its own identity, St. John's Island changed its name to Prince Edward Island, as the name St. John was in popular use in the region.
In the early years of the 19th century, the picturesque nature of PEI began to attract international attention, becoming a retreat for the wealthy.
In 1855, Charlottetown was officially incorporated into a city. In 1864, the city played host to the Charlottetown Conference, which laid the groundwork for the Canadian Confederation.
In 1871, PEI began building its leg of the national railway. Growth in the region began attraction the interest of Americans looking to expand, and by 1873 Canadaís first Prime Minister Sir John A Macdonald had begun pushing for the island to join the confederation. Canada assumed PEIís debt, and the island became Canadaís eighth province.
In the 20th century, Prince Edward Island became the setting for one of the nationís best loved works of period fiction, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The attention helped spawn the islands growing tourism industry.
For a short time, PEI became a training base for military efforts, with the development of naval bases and an airfield. After the Second World War, the military airfield officially became the Charlottetown Airport.
The driving forces in modern PEIís economy remain agriculture and fishing, but tourism, mining and natural gas production are gaining ground. Growth of these industries was further stimulated with the construction of Confederation Bridge, crossing the Northumberland Strait. The two land toll bridge continues the Trans-Canada Highway, connecting Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Tourism revenues almost doubled in the year following its completion.
The bridge also increased the islandís export capacity, further boosting agricultural production.
By the turn of the 21st century, smaller independent retailers were being replaced with larger discount stores, paving the way for a modern economy led by growth in the public sector, including technology and chemical production.
Prince Edward Island is a great place to visit in the summer. My boyfriend and I visit it each year and there is always alot to do there. Or it is just nice to go and hang out at a beach. My boyfriend also has many relatives there and sometimes we go just to visit. Thanks for reading.:)