The first capital of Acadia, established in 1605, was Port-Royal. A British force from Virginia attacked and burned down the town in 1613 but it was later rebuilt nearby, where it remained the longest serving capital of French Acadia until the British conquest of Acadia in 1710. Over seventy-four years there were six colonial wars, in which English and later British interests tried to capture Acadia starting with King William's War in 1689. During these wars, along with some French troops from Quebec, some Acadians, the Wabanaki Confederacy, and French priests continuously raided New England settlements along the border in Maine. While Acadia was officially conquered in 1710 during Queen Anne's War, present-day New Brunswick and much of Maine remained contested territory. Present-day Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton were conceded by Britain to France and renamed Île Saint-Jean and Île Royale. By militarily defeating the Wabanaki Confederacy and the French priests, present-day Maine fell during Father Rale's War. During King George's War, France and New France made significant attempts to regain mainland Nova Scotia. After Father Le Loutre's War, present-day New Brunswick fell to the British. Finally, during the French and Indian War, both Île Royale and Île Saint-Jean fell to the British in 1758.
Today, Acadia is used to refer to regions of North America that are historically associated with the lands, descendants, and/or culture of the former French region. It particularly refers to regions of The Maritimes with French roots, language, and culture, primarily in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the Magdalen Islands and Prince Edward Island, as well as in Maine. It can also be used to refer to the Acadian diaspora in southern Louisiana, a region also referred to as Acadiana. In the abstract, Acadia refers to the existence of a French culture in any of these regions.
People living in Acadia, and sometimes former residents and their descendants, are called Acadians, also later known as Cajuns after resettlement in Louisiana.
The origin of the designation Acadia is credited to the explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who on his 16th century map applied the ancient Greek name "Arcadia" to the entire Atlantic coast north of Virginia . "Arcadia" derives from the Arcadia district in Greece which since Classical antiquity had the extended meanings of "refuge" or "idyllic place". The Dictionary of Canadian Biography says: "Arcadia, the name Verrazzano gave to Maryland or Virginia 'on account of the beauty of the trees,' made its first cartographical appearance in the 1548 Gastaldo map and is the only name on that map to survive in Canadian usage." In 1603 a British colony south of the St. Lawrence between the 40th and 46th parallels was agreed by Henry IV who recognised the territory as "La Cadie". Also in the 17th century Champlain fixed its present orthography with the 'r' omitted. William Francis Ganong, a cartographer, has shown its gradual progress northeastwards, in a succession of maps, to its resting place in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada.
Another interesting note is the