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The French and Indian War (1754–1763) is the American name for the North American theater of the Seven Years' War. The war was fought primarily between the colonies of British America and New France, with both sides supported by military units from their parent countries of Great Britain and France. In 1756, the war escalated from a regional affair into a world-wide conflict.

The name refers to the two main enemies of the British colonists: the royal French forces and the various Native American forces allied with them. British and European historians use the term the Seven Years' War, as do many Canadians. Canadian historians avoid the term "French and Indian war" (because they were the French and Indians the British warred against), preferring "Anglo-French rivalry." French Canadians call it La guerre de la Conquête ("The War of Conquest").

The war was fought primarily along the frontiers separating New France from the British colonies from Virginia to Nova Scotia. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, called the Forks of the Ohio, and the site of the French Fort Duquesne and present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The dispute erupted into violence in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754, during which Virginia militiamen under the command of George Washington ambushed a French patrol. British operations in 1755, 1756 and 1757 in the frontier areas of Pennsylvania and New York all failed, due to a combination of poor management, internal divisions, and effective French and Indian offense. The 1755 British capture of Fort Beauséjour on the border separating Nova Scotia from Acadia was followed by its policy to deport the French inhabitants. The British overcame their resistance, transporting many to Louisiana, then under French control.

After the disastrous 1757 British campaigns (resulting in a failed expedition against Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry, which was followed by Indian torture and massacres of British victims), the British government fell. William Pitt came to power. Pitt significantly increased British military resources in the colonies at a time when France was unwilling to risk large convoys to aid the limited forces it had in New France. It concentrated its forces against Prussia and its allies in the European theatre of the war. Between 1758 and 1760, the British military successfully penetrated the heartland of New France, and took control of Montreal in September 1760.

The outcome was one of the most significant developments in a century of Anglo-French conflict. France ceded French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to its ally Spain in compensation for Spain's loss to Britain of Florida (which Spain had ceded to Britain in exchange for the return of Havana, Cuba). France's colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Britain's position as the dominant colonial power in the eastern half of North America.

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