The French and British military activity of the early 1750s , along with other British moves in mainland Nova Scotia, led to a growth in tension and unease throughout the region. Thousands of Acadians throughout Nova Scotia left their home villages and moved to the west side of the Missaguash River, to Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island) and to Île Royale (Cape Breton Island).

During the 1750s, the French had their doubts about the Acadians being reliable allies. Similarly, the British considered the Acadians unpredictable subjects.With the support of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts, Charles Lawrence (appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia in 1753) began to implement an increasingly hostile policy with regard to the Acadians who were living on the most fertile lands in Nova Scotia and who still refused to swear an unconditional oath of allegiance to the British monarch. From the British point of view, this refusal eliminated the Acadians' right to live in Nova Scotia and justified their expulsion.