French & Indian War


- The war that raged in North America through the late 1750's and early 1760's was but one part of the larger struggle between England and France for dominance in world trade and naval power.

- it confirmed England's commercial supremacy and cemented its control of the settled regions of North America.

- The French had explored and claimed a vast region of the continental interior, ranging from Louisiana in the South to the Great Lakes in the North.

- The region was enclosed by the four major cities: Montreal, Detroit, New Orleans, and Quebec, the center of the French empire in North America.

- In 1749 a group of Virginian businessmen secured a grant of 500,000 acres of Ohio valley land for settlement purposes

- This prompted the French, in an effort to keep the English from expansion into French lands, to construct new fortresses in the Ohio valley

- For the next five years, tensions between the English and the French increased, until in the summer of 1754 the governor of Virginia sent a militia force (under the command of an inexperienced young colonel named George Washington) into the Ohio valley to challenge French expansion.

- Washington built a crude stockade (Fort Necessity) and staged an unsuccessful attack on a French detachment

- The French countered with an assault on Fort Necessity, trapping Washington and his soldiers inside. After a third of them died in the fighting, Washington surrendered. This clash marked the beginning of the French and Indian War.


- The second phase of the struggle began in 1756 when the governments of France and England formally opened hostilities and a truly international conflict (The Seven Years' War) began

- the principal struggle remained the one in North America where so far England had suffered nothing but frustration and defeat

- Beginning in 1757, William Pitt, the English secretary of state, began to transform the war effort by bringing it for the first time fully under British control.

- He did this at first by forcing supplies, equipment, shelter, and manpower from the colonists. This was cause for much resentment among the colonists, who resisted this new imposition and firmly, at times even violently, resisted them.

- 1758, the friction between the British authorities and the colonists was threatening to bring the war effort to a halt.


- 1758, Pitt initiated the third and final phase of the war by relaxing many of the policies that Americans had objected to

- This resulted in an immediate increase in American support for the war and a dramatic increase in American enlistment.

- The French, now even more outnumbered then before and plagued by poor harvests, could no longer offer enough resistance to the British troops and American militias

- And on September 13 1759, the supposedly impregnable city of Quebec fell


- Firstly, it meant a great expansion of British territorial claims in the New World. - But the cost of the war had greatly enlarged Britain's debt

- the war generated substantial resentment towards the colonists among English leaders, who were not satisfied with the financial and military help they had received from the colonists during the war

- The English leaders set in motion plans to give London more control over the government of the colonies and these plans were eventually a big part of the colonial resentment towards British imperial policies that led to the American Revolution.

- the colonists had learned to unite against a common foe

- the vast interior of the continent lay open for the Americans to colonize. But The English government decided otherwise

- they issued a Royal Proclamation that prohibited settlement west of the line drawn along the crest of the Allegheny mountains and to enforce that measure they authorized a permanent army of 10,000 regulars (paid for by taxes gathered from the colonies; most importantly the "Sugar Act" and the "Stamp Act").

- For the Indians of the Ohio Valley, the third major party in the French and Indian War, the British victory was disastrous


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