As between the French and the English: one war, The War of the Austrian Succession ended in 1748; and another, The Seven Years War, in 1756, started. One would think that the years in between would have been years of peace. In America, however, these years were but an intermission. All that the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was to accomplish was to return things back to the status quo anti. The questions in North America, in respect to territorial rights, had not been resolved: they just became more pressing: matters continued to seethe. Historians have expressed the view that the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was less a treaty of peace then a treaty of truce.
The French totally exasperated by the loss of Louisbourg, set out, in 1746, to put the matter straight. There was to be a lesson taught to those who thought they could interfere with the might of France. A fleet was put together in France consisting of better than 70 vessels and then put 13,000 fighting men aboard. This invasion force under Admiral Jean-Batiste Rochefoucauld; its secret destination -- Nova Scotia. This amphibious attack force, was, however, to meet every disaster one might imagine that nature could dole out; and -- while it was under way, it was to cause terror in the streets of Louisbourg, Annapolis Royal and Boston -- it was to never get a shot off; and, it proved to be the most disastrous naval expedition, ever.
[QUICK REFER: Grand Plan; The Fleet; The Delay; Canadian Forces Gather; Advance Ships; Rumours; The Crossing; Arrival at Chebucto; Regrouping; Jonquière Takes Command; The Final Push; The Sirène; The English Reaction; The Wrap Ups: Townsend; Mascarene, and How.]
The presence of d'Anville's fleet in Nova Scotian waters had given the people of New England quite a fright. Shirley was to reenforce the garrison at Annapolis Royal and in addition determined to extend the English presence by sending an additional 500 under Arthur Noble who took up a position at Grand Pre. The English went into winter quarters figuring they would get a start in the early spring and surprise the French military who had stationed themselves at Chignecto. The tables were reversed when the French caught wind of the English intentions and immediately set off on a winter march, overland.
[QUICK REFER: The Setting; The English March; The French March; The Prelude; The Battle; and, The Aftermath.]
The principle idea, with the founding of Halifax in 1749, was for the English to off-set the French stronghold of Louisbourg. The new English settlement was to be more easily accessible to ships coming in from transatlantic crossings; more accessible to Louisbourg, should war break out once again; and more accessible, overland, to the northeastern parts of the French population in Acadia, particularly the more troublesome spots of Minas and Chignecto. [QUICK REFER: Introduction, The Choice of Chebucto and The Founding of Halifax.]
By the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Louisbourg, which had been taken at considerable cost to both England and her colonies, was signed over back to the French. The hand back ceremony went smoothly and the status quo ante brought back the old feelings as between the various groups effected: the French at Quebec, the Acadians, the natives, and the New Englanders; and, into this mix was thrown "foreign protestants" shipped over from Europe by the English, who, by the mid-17th century, were intent on settling people who would be loyal to the British crown.
The idea was to place Protestant settlers in and around the existing Roman Catholic Acadian population, thus, to dilute the French influence in peninsular Nova Scotia. Religion, in those days, not only defined affiliation with a church; but, also, it defined affiliation with a country. As a practical matter: Roman Catholics were sympathetic to the French cause; Protestants, even European Protestants, to the English cause. If Acadia was to be held in the next French/English conflict, as was most certainly anticipated, it would be necessary, if not to shift the allegiances of the population, indeed, to shift the population itself. The first 2500 (English) came in with Cornwallis in 1749; another 2500 were to be shipped over from Rotterdam (German/Swiss) during the years 1750-1753.
[QUICK REFER: A Listing of the Twelve Immigrant Ships of 1750-1752.]
Though it was the intention of the English upon establishing their new headquarters at Halifax to pacify the Indians -- it being the most practical solution to a long standing problem -- they knew it would take time and effort to do so. They were working against the French who were past experts when it came to winning Indians over. Halifax, until the situation improved, was to be a stockaded community. And the establishment of further "English" communities, because of the Indian threat, was to be impeded for a number of years.
[QUICK REFER: The First Attack At Dartmouth and The Indian Raids (1749-59), A Recap.]