The French and Indian War: A Battle for Land and Trade

Category: Military, Quebec, Wars
Last Updated: 25 May 2023
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The war consisting of three names, known to the Europeans as “the 7 year war,” the Canadians as “The conquest,” and to the English Americans as “The French and Indian War. ” The French and Indian War started in 1756 and lasted roughly 7 years. It all started at “The Forks of Ohio. ” Present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both Great Britain and France hoped to get there first and take control of the land for themselves. The river was a natural highway for trade and both sides had their own plans for the land.

France formed alliances with the Native Americans who lived around their forts and would most often live and work along side of the natives taking in their way of life The river would be a way for them to travel faster for trade amongst other colonies, they built most of their trading posts along the rivers. The French traded amongst the Native Americans for valuable animal fur, which later they would send to Europe to be sold. Another reason the French became a great threat to Great Britain, they had and controlled more land.

By 1700 the French land stretched from Canada, across the Great Lakes, down to the Mississippi River and to New Orleans. This and the wanting The “Forks of Ohio” themselves will be the cause of the war we know today as the “French and Indian War. ” The British, busy building their colonies along the coast of the Atlantic. These settlers were brought to America with the desire to become rich or to practice their own religious beliefs freely. Most of their living being made farming or trading.

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The British outnumbered the French due to the fact that they built more small villages and towns, bringing more British over in their conquest for riches. The vast number of British caused for them to move around in search for more land, moving them west, most often causing conflict with the Native Americans trying to protect their land. Between the years 1689 and 1748 a series of three wars were fought amongst them both all for control of North America, in which neither side fully won.

On Great Britain’s side, a young twenty-one commander in chief was the start to the notorious war, firing the first shots starting the first true war, “George Washington. ” The two armies collided near The Forks of Ohio in 1754 causing Britain’s victory over the French for a short period of time. Once French soldiers surrounding the area caught word of the attack they band together and went in search of George Washington and his men.

The French soon arrived to find George and his men hiding in a stockade they had built to fend of the French soldiers, the stockade soon developed the name “Fort Nessecity. ” Washington and his men soon out numbered caused the British to surrender and to their surprise was able to return home. When this war began the French teamed with the Canadian colonists and their native alliances they traded amongst for years. The French proved loyal to the Natives over the period of time they conducted business together.

This help make up for the vast outnumbering Britain had over the French. Britain teamed with the American colonies and 4 of the 6 Iroquois Nations, who were not to fond of the French to begin with, due to the taking over their land and changing their way of life by driving out their game they used for hunting and destroying their crops. 1755, General Braddock, appointed general at the time led yet another attack at “Fort Duquesne,” the new name of the French fort at the “Fork of the Ohio. Alongside the General came George Washington, now Junior leader of the British army. It was this battle that General Braddock became injured and later died. The battle lasted only about three hours and ended with the British once again retreating. This battle soon came to become “ The Battle of the Wilderness. ” The British strategy of attack was no match for the defense of the French. The French and Natives would hide amongst the trees and the wilderness leaving the British shooting in the dark and wide open targets. 756, this year became the start of what seemed to be a huge loss amongst the British. “Fort Oswego” in New York was captured by the French. 1757 “Fort William Henry,” soon became French territory. Attack after attack by the French caught the British army off guard as the French and Natives pulled land after land from underneath the British. This battle caused different countries all over the world to take sides.

By 1756 war was not just in North America anymore but consisted of most of the countries throughout the world. In 1757, William Pitt took over the position of leadership for Great Britain. In 1758, Pitt ordered an attack at “Fort Louisburg” a French fortress off the coast of Canada. They thought that if they could get control of the key then they would have access to the rivers running through, making for battle by water a lot easier of a solution for them.

The British brought with the double the men than what existed at the fortress at the time, outnumbering the French, this led to the surrender by the French and gave the British two heads up on the battle. The war started to take a turn for the best for Great Britain. Soon the British had control of “ Fort Frontenac” on Lake Ontario in the year 1758. This loss for the French really made a dent in the British victory, making it harder for the French trade.

The fall of 1758, the French abandoned “Fort Duquesne” causing the British to take control of the Forks of Ohio. The name “Pittsburgh” soon became the new fort name, after William Pitt, Pitt was the reasoning for the turn of the war in the British favor, earning him the title of the name. 1759, the invasion in Canada was sent under way. “Lake Champlain” was claimed by the British clearing another path to Canada for the British.

Summer, 1759 James Wolfe led a large fleet up the St. Lawrence River, targeting Quebec. Wolfe and his men set up fort across the river from Quebec, planning out a way to carry out their attack. Months pass, several attempts on Quebec’s steep land fails. Wolfe catches word of a secret trail that became ideal for the attack. September, the night attack by Wolfe and his men , sent under way led to the surrender of the French in Quebec.

The French retreated to Montreal, although on both sides both generals lost their lives, Wolfe and Montcalm the British proudly marched in to Quebec on September 18th the year 1759. This battle was one of the last chances for the French to have any control over North America. The wars continued but never again did the French see another victory. Great Britain had taken over and their forces seemed to be too overwhelming for the French. The war around the war continued and still led to the French and their allies failing. 763 came around and both the British and the French decided it was time for a Truce. The treaty called “The peace of Paris” was drawn up and signed. The terms, The French gave up Canada, India and the Florida territories. The British now had control of most of North America. Although it felt like peace had been made at last even though Great Britain’s powerful force took over most of North America, this war had and impact that would not be avoided not only for the colonists but for the Native Americans as well.

Great Britain now controlled vast’s amounts of land and more land meant more soldiers to protect this land. This became costly, the new government then imposed new taxes for the colonists. As imagined, the colonists grew unhappy with this decision. They felt the victory had to do with them as well and their new found freedom should be enjoyed, this was not the case. This will soon cause even more conflict in the future. The Native Americans, felt the impact in the worst way.

After British victory more and more settlers moved to North America taking control of even more land, creating their tobacco crops and scaring away the wildlife the Natives become accustomed to hunt. The Native American not only were being pushed out of their land but could not continue their way of life they lived for centuries. This became a problem and caused war amongst the natives and the British. 1763, a proclamation was created, making the first reservation between the Appalachian and the Mississippi River for the natives.

This was an attempt at peace, trying to avoid war with the natives. War is costly and Great Britain trying to maintain their vast majority of land had too many cost to deal with as it was. This law was to protect the land from the settlers. This treaty did little or nothing for the Natives as the settlers still continued to move west forcing the natives from their land. The taxes and the proclamation caused even more anger amongst the colonists, they began a disagreement with the British rule.

The relationship between Great Britain and The American colonies would soon fall apart leading to none only than “The American Revolution. ” A new war at hand. Bibliography: Santella, Andrew, “We the people, The French and Indian war,” (Compass Points Books, 2004) , 4-48 Anderson, Fred, “Crucible of war,” (A Division Of Random House, New York), 479 Vaugeois, Dennis “The last of the French and Indian War,” Montreal, (Mcgillqueens University Press, 2002) 1-100

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The French and Indian War: A Battle for Land and Trade. (2017, May 10). Retrieved from

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