The French and Indian War

By: Michael Butzer and Hunter Lockwood

Introduction

The French and Indian war was the bloodiest war in the 18th century between the French and Great Britain. The war lasted from 1756 to 1763 which took place in North America, however, tensions between the two nations were around for years before the war even started.


Causes

In the 1750s, both Great Britain and France had settlements in America. The British though wanted to settle near the Ohio River, where the french were, to have trading sources with the Native American’s. However, the French thought otherwise. France built forts to defend/protect their trading with the Indians and so, consequently, the British sent forces, led by George Washington, to deliver a message to the French captain demanding that the French troops withdraw from the territory. The French refused to move, so a skirmish occurred between the forces with George Washington surrendering in the end. After a string of small battles and skirmishes, both sides declared war in May 1756


Characteristics

The French and Indian war, also known as the Seven Year war lasted, started officially in 1756 and ended in 1763 but fighting among the British Americans and New France started as early as the early 1750s. In 1756 the war expanded from being fought in just the New World to being fought worldwide. It was fought primarily between New France and the colonies of British America. A majority of the fighting took place on the border of the British colonies and New France extending from Virginia to Nova Scotia. In 1757 colonists of British America began refusing to fight in the war. In 1760 the Iroquois join the british and the balance of power in the war tips towards the British. In 1763 the Treaty of Paris was signed giving all French owned territory to England and Spain. England got all land east of the Mississippi river and Canada,

Spain got all land west of the mississippi and New Orleans


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Significance

The French and Indian war had also caused resentment between the French and the British, one of the factors which lead to the alliance of the French and the colonists during the American revolution. The French helped the American’s during the American Revolution against the British; and many believe that the French and Indian War helped the alliance between the two nations.



Conclusion

At the end of the war the British had successfully seized the French Caribbean islands, Spanish Cuba, and the Philippines. The war ended after a failed Spanish invasion of Portugal, one of Great Britain’s allies. This loss among others caused the Treaty of Paris to be written. In this treaty Great Britain secured massive territorial gains, including all French territory east of the Mississippi river, as well as Spanish Florida, while returning Cuba to spain.

Although these territorial gains helped the British, the amount they spent on the war left them low on cash causing them to raise taxes on the colonies ultimately leading to some of the resentment which lead to the colonies revolution.