The French And Indian War Essay

958 words - 4 pages

The French and Indian War was a conflict in North America in which Great Britain fought France and their Native American allies. It lasted from 1756 until 1763, so it was also known as the Seven Years War. At the peace conference in 1763, the British received Canada from France and Florida from Spain, but permitted France to keep its West Indian sugar islands and gave Louisiana to Spain. The treaty strengthened the American colonies significantly by removing their European rivals to the north and south and opening the Mississippi Valley to westward expansion.
The war began as disputes over land between British colonists, officials, and the Iroquois Confederacy who were against the French and their Native American allies. The Iroquois Confederacy thought that if they worked with the British, the British would let them keep some of their land if they won. Britain controlled the thirteen colonies extending to the Appalachian Mountains, where New France started. The borders were not officially written, so conflicts of this type were quite common..
The British sent Edward Braddock as commander-in-chief of all of the British forces in America. However, he alienated many Native American allies, and most colonial leaders did not cooperate with him. While on a mission to capture Fort Duquesne, Braddock was killed in an ambush. With his death, the war went into a stalemate for several years.
One area of contention was the Ohio River Valley. The French had multiple forts in the area, therefore they had the stronger claim. Lieutenant Colonel George Washington led an attack to attempt to destroy these forts but was outnumbered and defeated.
At first, it appeared the French might win the war. In 1754 and 1755, they had managed to beat George Washington, Edward Braddock, and Governor William Shirley in multiple battles. The war started going better for Britain in 1757 when William Pitt, the newly appointed British general, saw the conflicts in the colonies as a way for the British to build a much larger empire. Borrowing large sums of money to finance the war, he hired troops from Prussia to fight in Europe and paid the colonies for recruiting troops in North America. In July 1758, the British won their first major victory at Louisbourg, near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Within a month, they took Fort Frontenac at the western end of the river. Then they arrived at Quebec, where General James Wolfe won another important victory in the Plains of Abraham in September 1759. However, both he and the French commander, the Marquis de Montcalm, died soon after the battle. When the British captured Montreal in September 1760, the French lost their last foothold in Canada. Soon, Spain decided to help France fight against England, and throughout the rest of the war Britain focused on capturing French and Spanish...

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