French and Indian War

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The French and Indian War is the American name for the decisive nine-year conflict (1754-1763) in North America between the Kingdom of Great Britain and France, which was one of the theatres of the Seven Years' War. The war resulted in France's loss of all its possessions in North America except for some Caribbean islands and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, two small islands off Newfoundland. The British acquired Canada while Spain gained Louisiana in compensation for its loss of Florida to the British.

Nomenclature

In Britain and Canada, the designation French and Indian War is nearly unknown: English Canadians typically refer to the war as the Seven Years' War, while French Canadians refer to it as the Guerre de la conquête (War of the Conquest), since it is the war in which New France was conquered by the British and became part of the North American portion of the British Empire. In Britain it is simply regarded as the most important theatre of the Seven Years' War.

Series of North American conflicts, 17th century-18th century

The French and Indian War was the last of four major colonial wars (called, somewhat confusingly, French and Indian Wars) between the British, the French, and their Indian allies, following the conflicts known in North America as King William's War (1689-1697), Queen Anne's War (1702-1714), and King George's War (1744-1748). The preceding wars, fought more as secondary theatres to European conflicts, resulted in little territorial change.

Overview

The French and Indian War, unlike the others, began on North American soil and then spread to Europe, where Britain and France continued fighting. Britain officially declared war on France in 1756, marking the beginnings of the Seven Years' War in Europe. Native Americans fought for both sides but primarily alongside the French. The major battles include French victories at Fort William Henry, Fort Ticonderoga, and against the Braddock Expedition, and British victories at Louisburg, Fort Niagara, Fort Duquesne, and—most significantly of all—at the Plains of Abraham outside of Quebec City, in which James Wolfe defeated a French garrison led by Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and then captured New France's capital.

The war resulted in France's loss of all its possessions in North America except for some Caribbean islands and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, two small islands off Newfoundland. The British acquired Canada while Spain gained Louisiana in compensation for its loss of Florida to the British. One result of the war was that Britain gained control of a large French-speaking, Roman Catholic population in Lower Canada. Near the beginning of the war, in 1755, the British had expelled French-speaking populations in Acadia to Louisiana, creating the Cajun population, but this would not be possible in Canada.

The war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763. France agreed to cede Canada to Britain, preferring to keep the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe because of its rich sugar crops and the ease with which it could be controlled. The European side of the war was also settled by the Treaty of Hubertusburg on February 15, 1763.

The decisive result of the war meant that it was the last of the French and Indian Wars and helped create conditions that led to the American Revolutionary War. The British colonists no longer needed British protection from the French and resented the taxes imposed by Britain to pay for its military commitments as well as limitation on colonial settlements imposed by the British Royal Proclamation of 1763 in the newly acquired French territories in the Ohio Country and Illinois Country in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.

Trivia

The Battle of Fort Necessity, one of the opening engagements of the war, marked the first and only known instance of George Washington surrendering in battle.

List of battles and expeditions

Further reading

  • Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. New York: Knopf, 2000. ISBN 0375406425.
  • Fowler, W.M. Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. New York: Walker, 2005. ISBN 0-8027-1411-0
  • Jennings, Francis. Empire of Fortune: Crowns, Colonies, and Tribes in the Seven Years War in America. New York: Norton, 1988. ISBN 0393306402.
  • Parkman, Francis. Montcalm and Wolfe: The French and Indian War. Originally published 1884. New York: Da Capo, 1984. ISBN 0-306-81077-8.

See also

External links

de:Franzosen- und Indianerkrieg fr:Guerre de Sept Ans (Amérique du Nord) nl:Franse en Indiaanse oorlog ja:フレンチ・インディアン戦争