FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
Also known as the Seven Years’ War, this was a conflict that occurred prior to the American Revolution, but would be paramount to the future of the American colonies. The conflict pitted France against the British Colonies in America, and was started due to France’s expansion into the Ohio River Valley. The colonies (primarily Virginia) became upset that the French were infringing on what they believed to be their rightful land. Fighting started in 1754, and looked as though the war could end quickly due to quick French victories over Generals George Washington, Edward Braddock, and William Shirley. France had many advantages such as their ability to negotiate with the American Indians, the ongoing disconnect between the colonies themselves, and a simple lack of interest from the British Homeland. Britain declared war in 1756, which brought an official start to the Seven Years’ War, but it would take another year before the tide would begin to turn in favor of the British.
Once notable British leader William Penn took over, the conflicts in the colonies began to be more of a priority for the prospects of making Great Britain a global empire. Funding started to be spread through the colonies, reimbursing those that were recruiting soldiers, money was paid to Prussia to fight the French in Europe, leading towards a split conflict for France. Societal aspects were building towards a swing in the momentum, and that came to fruition in July of 1758, when they won their first battle of the conflict at Louisbourg where General Jeffery Amherst and his 13,000 troops simply over powered and sieged French commander Chevalier de Drucour’s 6,000 men. This was followed up with victories at Fort Frontenac and finally in Quebec on the Plains of Abraham. In Quebec, General James Wolfe lead an early morning mission into the French forces and won a decisive battle over French commander Marquis de Montcalm. This victory would be decisive in the grand scheme of the war as the French would never regain control over Quebec.
In September of 1760, Britain gained control of Montreal, which would be the last foothold that the French had in Canada, and even though Spain had come to the French’s aid, the conflict was for all intents and purposes, over. When peace was being negotiated, the British wound up receiving Canada from the French, and Florida from the Spanish. The most important effect of this treaty was that it strengthened the American colonies, as it removed other European rivals from both the North and the South. With the strength in the new colonies, the British saw the colonies as a cow to be milked and a stronghold in their quest for global expansion. The combination of the added taxes and King George’s refusal to let the colonies expand westward after the defeat of the French, tensions began to rise and the table had been set for the rebellion of the colonies. The French and Indian War served as the appetizer for what was to come in the British Colonies, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Seven Years’ War played a large role in creating the rebellion.