The History Book Club - NATIVE AMERICANS: FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR Showing 1-37 of 37
French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, 1754-1763
In , Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie dispatched year-old George Washington to southwestern Pennsylvania with a written order to French forces to vacate the contested territory of the Ohio Valley. When the French refused, Lieutenant Colonel Washington returned the following year with a force of hundreds and ambushed a small scouting party before dawn on May 28, Although hostilities began in , Britain did not formally declare war on France until May 18, France reciprocated three weeks later. Nine years of armed conflict between the two countries on the North American continent ended with the ratification of the Treaty of Paris by the British Parliament on February 10, While the majority of Native American tribes backed the French, numerous tribes remained neutral, fought alongside the British or shifted allegiances with the winds of war. Native American tribes, which laid claim to the same territories that the British and French were fighting over, were hardly monolithic, and their fault lines were reflected in the sides they backed.
Details The rich lands which lay between and to the west of the French settlements of Canada and the British colonies along the East Coast of North America were inevitably destined to become a battleground between the forces of these two European rivals. France and its colonists and Indian allies fought against Britain, its colonists and Indian allies. The war began with conflicts about land.
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When Did the French and Indian War Take Place?
It determined control of the vast colonial territory of North America. The French and Indian War began over the specific issue of whether the upper Ohio River valley was a part of the British Empire , and therefore open for trade and settlement by Virginians and Pennsylvanians, or part of the French Empire. Behind this issue loomed an infinitely larger one, however: which national culture was to dominate the heart of North America. Settlers of English extraction were in a preponderance in the coveted area, but French exploration, trade, and alliances with Native Americans predominated. British territorial claims rested upon explorations of the North American continent by John Cabot in the latter part of the 15th century. In the early 17th century, an English royal charter granted land within certain limits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to both the Virginia Company and the Plymouth Company.
At the peace conference, the British received the territories of Canada from France and Florida from Spain, opening the Mississippi Valley to westward expansion. During and , the French won a string of victories, defeating in quick succession the young George Washington , Gen. In , Governor Shirley, fearing that the French settlers in Nova Scotia Acadia would side with France in any military confrontation, expelled hundreds of them to other British colonies; many of the exiles suffered cruelly. The tide turned in because William Pitt, the new British leader, saw the colonial conflicts as the key to building a vast British empire. Borrowing heavily to finance the war, he paid Prussia to fight in Europe and reimbursed the colonies for raising troops in North America. In July , the British won their first great victory at Louisbourg, near the mouth of the St.
The conflict was played out in Europe, India, and North America. The English did ultimately come to dominate the colonial outposts, but at a cost so staggering that the resulting debt nearly destroyed the English government. It was that debt that caused the escalation of tensions leading to the Revolutionary War. Parliament was desperate to obtain two objectives; first, to tax the colonies to recover monies expended on the battle over North America, and second to restore the profitability of the East India Company in an effort to recover monies spent on the battle over India. The French and Indian War, as it was referred to in the colonies, was the beginning of open hostilities between the colonies and Gr. England and France had been building toward a conflict in America since