Acadians - Sociopolitical Organization

Social Organization. In the past, immediate authority in each community was held by the parish priest. Since the early 1960s, the church has relinquished its authority in temporal matters, and a new educated elite has filled the void. Acadian nationalist organizations such as La Société Nationale des Acadiens attempt to represent and influence public opinion, with varying success.

Political Organization. Each Canadian province has a democratically elected legislature, with each member representing a riding (district) in his or her province. The Provincial legislatures share power with the federal government. Voters elect members to both their provincial legislature and the federal parliament in separate elections.

Social Control. With the modernization of Acadian Society, it is difficult to maintain social control through Community-imposed sanctions, and there is a greater dependence on the Canadian legal system.

Conflict. Since the end of the conflict between the British and the French in 1763, Acadia has been a peaceful land. By establishing themselves in separate areas, Acadians and English-speaking citizens in the Maritimes largely avoided conflict. A strong element of anti-French prejudice persists, however, and this is most evident in towns, such as Moncton, where the two groups now interact on a regular basis.

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