the American French & Indian War - The French & the
British at War
French and Indian War (1689–1763) was the American name given
to an international conflict that included North America. It was
fought between the French and their Allies VS the British, the
colonists and their Allies. The struggle was referred to as the
first world war since many of the countries of the world were on one
side or another. The conflict extended far beyond the America's to
Europe and India. It was a battle to determine empires and world
Europeans viewed the American
conflict as fairly insignificant. That was not the case in North
America. The colonists had very immediate concerns in North
America. The fighting in America meant not only raids by the French or
the British but also the horrors of Indian warfare. The conflict was
looked on as a single war without interruption even though the
European wars were on again and off again until 1763. Also at stake
here was the future of Canada, the American West and the West Indies.
In Europe the conflict raged on
during a series of wars between the French and English. The first
official war was called The War of the Grand
Alliance, (1688–97), called in
the Colonies King William's War. France was on one side and
England, Spain, and the Netherlands the other. This war ended with the
Treaty of Ryswick, 1697. In
the colonies it was marked by continuing French attacks on the
British/Colonist frontier settlements. Sir William Phips took Port
Royal (now Annapolis Royal, N.S.) in 1690 only to lose it back to
the French the next year. The British tried to take Quebec by land
unsuccessfully. The French Commander at Quebec, the comte de
Frontenac, attacked the eastern coast settlements. The treaty gave
the colonies little relief since France still occupied the Ohio
Territory and Canada and it was short lived. The next war was named Queen
Anne's War (1702–13). The colonists saw many bloody
frontier battles against the French & their Indian Allies. A
British naval attack on Quebec failed. The French attacked
Deerfield, Mass. Port Royal, NS, fell to the British under Francis
Nicholson (1710) as did Acadia. At
the Peace of Utrecht, Hudson Bay territory, Acadia,
St. Kitts, and Newfoundland were given to England. France also lost
its fortifications of Dunkirk. The next war came America a few years
later in 1744. The Colonists called it King George's War.
The Europeans called it War of Jenkins's Ear and the War of
Succession. The French tried to take back Port Royal
unsuccessfully. An army under William Pepperrell
out of Massachusetts with a British fleet under Sir Peter Warren took
Louisburg, E Cape Breton Island, N.S. This war
ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748. It gave
Louisburg back to the French. Bloody battles occurred across the
frontier and continued. The French and British wars concluded with the
Seven Years War (1756–63).
The players in this one were France, Austria, Russia, Saxony,
Sweden, and (after 1762) Spain on the one side and Prussia, Great
Britain, and Hanover on the other.
One direct effect of this war
was the colonists had to learn to count on themselves. The
Atlantic Ocean hindered England's assistance and protection
of the colonies. And Britain eventually had to devote resources to
battling the French and their allies in Europe and India. Toss
in when peace came in 1763, Britain started imposed large taxes on
goods shipped to the colonies to pay for the war. The colonists began
to think of themselves more and more as independent from the Crown and
mother country. They began to view themselves as Americans.
There is more to this story.
This just sets the stage of the French & Indian Wars, click
here to read more.
- The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Copyright © 2006, Columbia University Press.