Prince Edward Island

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Prince Edward Island (or PEI) is a Maritime province and island, located in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence on the east coast of Canada.

Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada in both area and population[1]. Despite this it has the highest population density of any of the provinces.

Its largest city and provincial capital is Charlottetown.


PEI has a 27-member legislative assembly. Currently the Conservatives hold 24 seats and the Liberals hold 4. The Green party and the NDP also run candidates in provincial elections. Pat Binns is currently the premier of the island and has been since 1996[2]. The Island has 4 federal ridings all of which are held by members of the Liberal Party of Canada.


In 1534 Jacques Cartier was the first European to explore the island, claiming it for France. In 1720 the French began to colonize the island, known as Isle St. Jean, establishing several settlements.

In 1745 troops from Britain and New England captured the island from the French. The British returned Isle St. Jean to French rule in 1748 in return for an Indian city. The island changed rule for the third time when in 1758 the British recaptured it, deporting almost 5000 of the French and Acadian settlers to the Eastern US. Only about 300 managed to avoid deportation. In 1762, the French and British signed a treaty ceding all French lands in North America to the British, and the island was grouped with Nova Scotia for administrative purposes. In 1769, after lobbying by the landowners, the Island was given its own Governorship and administration. [3][4]

In 1864, the province played host to the Charlottetown Conference, the first gathering to discuss the creation of the Canadian Confederation. However, opposition to joining the union remained high in the province and its leaders held out for better financial terms. PEI finally joined the Confederation in 1873. [5]

Links to the mainland

PEI is connected by the 12.9 km Confederation Bridge to New Brunswick and there is a ferry service in the most of the year to Nova Scotia. A link to the mainland was a pre-condition of PEI deciding to join the Confederation.


PEI is a popular tourist destination, renowned for its red sand beaches and as the setting for the Anne of Green Gables children's stories.


  • Abdullah, Colleen, and Laurie Brinklow. Prince Edward Island Colourguide (5th ed. 2007) excerpt and text search 4th ed.
  • Hempstead, Andrew. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island For Dummies (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Morris, Mark, and Andrew Hempstead. Moon Handbooks Atlantic Canada : New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador (3rd ed. 2002) excerpt and text search
  • Walls, Martha. Prince Edward Island Book of Everything (2007)
  • Zimmerman, Karla, and Celeste Brash. Lonely Planet Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & Prince Edward Island (2007) excerpt and text search


  • The Dictionary of Canadian Biography(1966-2006), scholarly biographies of notables who died by 1930
  • Arsenault, Georges. The Island Acadians Charlottetown: Ragweed, 1989. 296 pp.
  • Baglole, Harry, ed. Exploring Island History: A Guide to the Historical Resources of Prince Edward Island. Belfast, P.E.I.: Ragweed, 1977
  • Bolger, Francis W. P., ed. Canada's Smallest Province: A History of Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown: Prince Edward Island Centennial Comm., 1973. 403 pp.
  • Boyde Beck. Prince Edward Island: An (Un)Authorized History (1996)
  • Bumsted, J. M. Land, Settlement, and Politics on Eighteenth-Century Prince Edward Island. (1987). 238 pp.
  • Campbell, Duncan. History Of Prince Edward Island (2007)
  • Clark, A. H. Three Centuries and the Island. A Historical Geography of Settlement and Agriculture in Prince Edward Island, Canada (1959) very broad look at historical geography
  • Ives, Edward D. Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island. Charlottetown, P.E.I.: Inst. of Island Studies, 1999. 269 pp.
  • Livingston, W. Ross Responsible Government in Prince Edward Island: A Triumph of Self-Government under the Crown. 1931. online edition
  • MacDonald, Edward. If You're Stronghearted: Prince Edward Island in the Twentieth Century (Charlottetown: PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, 2000)
  • Macdonald, Heidi. "Developing a Strong Roman Catholic Social Order in Late Nineteenth-Century Prince Edward Island." Historical Studies Volume: 69. 2003. pp 34+. online edition
  • MacKinnon, Wayne. The Life of the Party: A History of the Liberal Party in Prince Edward Island. Summerside: Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island, 1973. 153 pp.
  • MacKinnon, Frank. Church Politics and Education in Canada: The P.E.I. Experience. Calgary: Detselig, 1995. 144 pp.
  • MacKinnon, Frank. The Government of Prince Edward Island (1951),
  • Sharpe, Errol. A People's History of Prince Edward Island. Toronto: Steel Rail, 1976. 252 pp.
  • Smitheram, Verner; Milne, David; and Dasgupta, Satadal, ed. The Garden Transformed: Prince Edward Island, 1945-1980. Charlottetown: Ragweed, 1982. 271 pp.
  • Weale, David and Baglole, Harry. The Island and Confederation: The End of an Era. Summerside, P. E. I.: Williams and Crue, 1973. 166 pp.
  • Whitelaw, William Menzies. The Maritimes and Canada before Confederation 1934 online edition