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War in   In 1740 the War of the Austrian Succes-

Europe. sion broKe out in Europe. France and England took opposite sides, though they did not form-ally declare war upon each other until 1744. Their colonies in America then tried to settle the vexed question of the boundary line by force of arms.

The French News of the declaration of war reached Attack Louisbourg before it reached Boston, and Nova Scotia. a strong force was quickly sent to attack Nova Scotia. The fort at Canso was taken and burnt. The invaders next turned to Annapolis, expecting an easy victory, for its defences were crumbling into ruins, its garrison was weak, and the French thought that the Acadians would rise and help them. But the Acadians did nothing, and the governor held out till a force from Boston came to his aid.

Siege of   In return the English colonists boldly Louisbourg, decided to attack Louisbourg, which was

1745. now the strongest fortress in America. The town was surrounded by great stone walls and a wide, deep ditch.

The expedition was planned by Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, but it was led by a merchant named William Pepperell. He was brave, sensible, and a favourite with his men, but had never seen a cannon fired " in anger.',.'

6   8r

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