French and Indian War

The French and Indian War also know as the Seven Years’ War, was the North American conflict that was part of a larger imperial battle between France and Great Britain. It was named by British and American forces fighting against French and Canadian forces associated with the Algonkian nations. It was the fourth of a series of wars. It sometimes was known as the Intercolonial Wars. It lasted from 1754-1763. The French and Indian War was diverse in that it arose in the colonies and spread to Europe when Britain acknowledged war on France in 1756 to begin the Seven Years’ War (“French and Indian War”).

It guaranteed the dominance of English- speaking people over North America and set the stage for the American Revolutionary War, or the American War of Independence (1775-1783). It originated as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, but progressively grew into a world war between Britain on one side and the freshly formed United States. The British and the French had been rebellious for colonial control in the Americas since the late 1600s.

Both wanted access to profitable trade opportunities and to land for expanding reimbursement (“French and Indian War (Overview)”). Most of the French and Indian War was fought in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania over such sites as Fort Duquesne (Fort Pitt), Fort William Henry, and Fort Carillon. It was a particularly new-style American battle in that it contained mostly of guerrilla-type rebellious in the wilderness and alongside colonial borders. The war began in a struggle for control of the immense lands of the trans-Appalachian region, especially the Ohio River Valley.

To exclude English settlers from lands they claimed, the French established a series of forts across the area. Both the French and the Indians were fighting for the land because of the resources, such as timber. Most of the Indians sided with the French because the British made a permanent settlement on their land which made the French very angry. Although the war with the French ended in 1763, the British continued to fight with the Indians over the issue of land privileges.

“Pontiac’s War” disappeared shortly after the Treaty of Paris was signed, and many of the battlefields including Detroit, Fort Pitt, and Niagara were the same. The Indians, already drained by many years of war, quickly surrendered under the aggressive British revenge. The issue remained a problem for many years to come (“French and Indian War”). The results of the war effectively ended French political and cultural impacts in North America. England expanded considerable amounts of land and immensely reinforced its grasp on the continent. The war, however, also had delicate consequences.

It desperately worn the relationship between England and Native Americans and though the war seemed to support England’s grip on the colonies, the effects of the French and Indian War played a major role in the fading relationship between England and its colonies that eventually led into the Revolutionary War (“French and Indian War (Overview)”). As George Washington said in his letter to John Augustine, “We expect every hour to be attacked by a superior Force, but shall if they stay one day longer be prepared for them” (“Letter to John Augustine”).

As you can see, the French and Indian War, a colonial extension of the Seven Years War that devastated Europe from 1756 to 1763, was the goriest American war in the 18th century. It took more lives than the American Revolution. The war was the product of an imposing struggle, a brawl between the French and English over colonial terrain and prosperity. Within these global forces, the war has also been seen as a product of the restricted conflict between British and French colonists.