Colonial International Relations Essay

968 words - 4 pages

In the year 1492, a vast swath of land, cutting from the Atlantic Ocean to The Pacific was discovered, whether he understood its implications or not, by a man by the name of Christopher Columbus. With abounding fish, hundreds of miles of dense forests, precious metals, and a prodigious amount of unclaimed territory awaiting settlers to this New World, many hoped to start a new, prosperous life in the Americas. Whether one feared religious persecution, debtor’s jail, or starvation, thousands of men, women, and children sailed to North America for a chance to start over. From the very first European to set foot on the New World soil to the early twentieth century at Ellis Island, North America has not only become influenced by European culture and people, but it has become shaped and molded into what it is today because of these differences. Perhaps the greatest influence came during the French and Indian War, where several countries fought for control of North America’s vast resources. Specifically, one could go as far to say that the French and Indian War was a main cause of the Revolutionary War in America. Beaver trappers from France, the Proclamation of 1763, and early British and Spanish trade legislation all represented foreign influences that shaped the history of North America during and after the Seven Years’ War and the French and Indian War.
As France came out of its dark age of disunity between the Protestant Huguenots and Roman Catholics, King Louis XIV led his country to an age of exploration and conquest in the New World, taking control of large portions of both the West Indies and present-day Canada. However, after being established in New France for well over a hundred years, by the mid-18th century, France had gained control of the areas surrounding the Mississippi River, all the way to Louisiana. As France claimed the interior of North America, clashes became inevitable as both the British and French vied for control of the Ohio River Valley and its abundant beaver trade. Claiming it as part of Virginia, a young man named George Washington led an expedition into the Ohio River Valley to “secure the Virginians’ claims,” (Kennedy, et. al., p.113) firing the first shots of the French and Indian War. Therefore, European fashion trends with beaver furs helped to shape present-day North America and the free world by initiating the first major world war fought from the Philippines to America to Eastern Europe.
Earlier even than these conflicts over the Ohio River Valley in the 1750s and 1760s, two other events shaped the early history of North America. Friction from smuggling after the Molasses Act was passed by Parliament in 1733 was one of these events. The other was the British gaining diminutive trading rights in Spanish territory in 1713. Rather than bowing to pressure from foreign countries and even Parliament, some colonists smuggled their way to small fortunes. The Molasses Act, “aimed at...

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