Map showing the 1750 possessions of
Britain (pink), France (blue), and Spain (orange) in contemporary
Canada and the United States.
The French and Indian War
, also known as the
War of the Conquest
(French: Guerre de la
) or referred as part of the larger conflict known as
the Seven Years' War
, was a war
fought in North America between 1754 and 1763. The name French
and Indian War
refers to the two main enemies of the British:
the royal French forces and the various Native American
allied with them. The conflict, the fourth such colonial war between the nations of
France and Great
Britain, resulted in the British conquest of Canada.
The outcome was one of
the most significant developments in a century of Anglo-French conflict
To compensate its ally, Spain
its loss of Florida
to the British,
France ceded its control of French Louisiana
west of the Mississippi
. France's colonial
presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the tiny islands of Saint Pierre and
Miquelon, confirming Britain's position as the dominant
colonial power in North America.
Origin of Name
The conflict is known by several names. In British America
, wars were often named after
the sitting British monarch, such as King William's War
or Queen Anne's War
. Because there had already
been a King George's War
1740s, British colonists named the second war in King George's
reign after their
opponents, and thus it became known as the French and Indian
. This traditional name remains standard in the United
States, although it obscures the fact that American Indian
both sides of the conflict. American historians generally use the
traditional name or the European title (the Seven Years' War
). Other, less frequently
used names for the war include the Fourth Intercolonial
and the Great War for the Empire
In Europe, the North American theatre
of the Seven Years' War usually
has no special name, and so the entire worldwide conflict is known
as the Seven Years' War
(or the Guerre de sept
). The "Seven Years" refers to events in Europe, from the
official declaration of war in 1756 to the signing of the peace
treaty in 1763. These dates do not correspond with the actual
fighting on mainland North America, where the fighting between the
two colonial powers was largely concluded in six years, from the
skirmish in 1754 to the capture of Montreal in
In Canada, both French- and English-speaking Canadians refer to
both the European and North American conflicts as the Seven Years'
War (Guerre de Sept Ans
). French Canadians may use the
term "War of the Conquest" (Guerre de la Conquête
it is the war in which New France
conquered by the British and became part of the British Empire
, but that usage is never
employed by most English Canadians. This war is also one of
North America in the 1750s
North America east of the Mississippi River was largely claimed by
either Great Britain or France, although significant portions of
territory, especially that between the Mississippi and the Appalachian
Mountains, were claimed by, and under the control of, native
tribes. The French colonial presence was largest in
the St. Lawrence
River valley, with population also in Acadia (present-day New Brunswick), Île Royale (present-day Cape Breton
Island), and New
Orleans, which was the seat of the French province of Louisiana, whose
claims encompassed most of the Mississippi River's drainage basin, including that of the
The French maintained
a network of fur traders that penetrated deeply into their claimed
territories, but did not generally assert land claims against the
colonies ranged along the eastern coast of the continent, from
Georgia in the south to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the north.
Many of the older colonies had land claims that extended
arbitrarily far to the west, as the extent of the continent was
unknown at the time their provincial charters were granted. While
their population centers were close to the coast, they had growing
populations, and British fur traders and settlements were expanding
inland toward, and eventually across, the Appalachian Mountains.
Scotia, which had been captured from the French in Queen Anne's War in 1713, still had a
significant French-speaking population, primarily based on the
shores of the Bay of
Fundy and the Northumberland Strait.
Britain also claimed Rupert's Land
, where settlements of the
Hudson's Bay Company
established to trade with natives in that territory.
Iroquois engaging in trade with
In between the French and the British, large areas were dominated
by native tribes. To the north, the Mi'kmaq and the Abenaki still
held sway in parts of Nova Scotia, Acadia, and the eastern portions
of the province of Canada and
dominated much of present-day Upstate
and the Ohio Country
although the latter also included populations of Delaware
south the interior was dominated by Catawba
, and Cherokee
tribes. When war broke out, the French
also used their trading connections to recruit from tribes in
western portions the Great Lakes region
area not directly subject to the conflict between the French and
British), including the Huron
. The British were
supported in the war by the Cherokee until differences between them
sparked the Anglo-Cherokee War
1758, and also by the Iroquois. In 1758 the Pennsylvania government
successfully negotiated the Treaty of
, in which a number of tribes in the Ohio Country
promised neutrality in exchange for land concessions and other
considerations. Most of the other northern tribes sided with the
French, their primary trading partner and supplier of arms. The
Creek and Cherokee were targets of diplomatic efforts by both the
French and British for either support or neutrality in the
conflict. It was not uncommon for individuals or small bands to
participate on the "other side" of the conflict from
in eastern North America was limited to the province of Florida; it also controlled
Cuba and other territories in the West Indies that became military objectives in the Seven Years'
War. Florida's population was relatively small,
and was dominated by the settlements at St.
Augustine and Pensacola.
At the start of the war, there were no British or French regular army
troops in North America. New
France was defended by about 3,000 troupes de la marine
, companies of
colonial regulars (some of whom had significant woodland combat
experience), and also made calls for militia support when needed.
British colonies mustered militia
to deal with native threats when needed, but did not have any
standing forces. The colonial governments were also used to
operating independently of each other, and of the government in
London, a situation that complicated negotiations with natives
whose territories encompassed land claimed by multiple colonies,
and, after the war began, with the British
establishment when its leaders attempted to impose
constraints and demands on the colonial administrations.
Events leading to war
In June 1747, Roland-Michel
Barrin de La Galissonière
, the Governor-General of New France,
to lead an expedition to the Ohio Country
with the objective of removing
British influence from the area. Céloron was also to confirm the
allegiance of the Native Americans
inhabiting the territory to the French
Céloron's expedition consisted of 213 soldiers of the Troupes de la marine
who were transported by 23 canoes
expedition left Lachine on June 15, 1749. The expedition went
up the St. Lawrence, continued along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, crossed the portage at
Niagara, and then followed the southern shoreline of Lake Erie. At the Chautauqua Portage (near present-day
New York), the expedition moved inland to the Allegheny River, which it followed to the
site of present-day Pittsburgh, where Céloron buried lead plates engraved with the
French claim to the Ohio Country.
Whenever he encountered
British merchants or fur-traders, Céloron informed them of the
French claims on the territory and told them to leave.
Céloron's expedition arrived at Logstown, the Native Americans in the area informed Céloron
that they owned the Ohio Country and that they would trade with the
British regardless of what the French told them to do.
Céloron continued south until his expedition reached the confluence
of the Ohio River and the Miami River
, which lay just south of the village
, the home of the
chief known as "Old Briton
". Céloron informed "Old Briton" that
there would be "dire consequences" if the elderly chief continued
to trade with the British. "Old Briton" ignored the warning.
and his expedition went no further, and eventually returned to
Montreal in November 1749.
In his report, which extensively detailed the journey, Céloron
wrote, "All I can say is that the Natives of these localities are
very badly disposed towards the French, and are entirely devoted to
the English. I don't know in what way they could be brought back."
Reports of the situation to both London and Paris were accompanied
by recommendations that action be taken. William Shirley
, the expansionist governor
of the Province of
, was particularly forceful, stating that
British colonists would not be safe as long as the French were
The War of the Austrian
(whose North American theater
is also known as King George's War
) formally ended in 1748
with the signing of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
The treaty was primarily focused on resolving issues in Europe
, and the issues of conflicting territorial
claims between British and French colonies in North America were
turned over to a commission to resolve. Britain assigned Governor
Shirley and the Earl of Albemarle
the governor of the Province of
, whose western border was one of the sources of
conflict between the two powers, to the commission. Albemarle also
served as ambassador to France. King
appointed Galissonière and other equally hard-line
members to the French membership of the commission. The commission
met in Paris in the summer of 1750, with the predictable result
that nothing was agreed to, given the positions of the negotiators.
Frontiers between Nova Scotia and Acadia in the north, to the Ohio
Country in the south were claimed by both sides. The disputes also
extended into the Atlantic, where both powers wanted access to the rich
fisheries of the Grand Banks.
Attack on Pickawillany
On March 17, 1752, the Governor-General of New France,
Marquis de la Jonquière
died, and was temporarily replaced by
Charles le Moyne de Longueuil. It was not until July 1, 1752 that
his permanent replacement, Ange
Duquesne de Menneville
, arrived in New France to take over the
post. Longueuil dispatched an expedition to the Ohio River area
under the command of Charles
Michel de Langlade
, an officer in the Troupes de la Marine.
Langlade was given 300 men comprising members of the Ottawa
. His objective was to
punish the Miami people of Pickawillany for not following Céloron's
orders to cease trading with the British. On June 21, the French
war party attacked the trading centre at Pickawillany, killing
fourteen people of the Miami nation, including Old Briton, who was
reportedly ritually cannibalized by some members of the
In the spring of 1753, Paul
Marin de la Malgue
was given command of a 2,000 man force of
Troupes de la Marine and Indians. His orders were to protect the
King's land in the Ohio Valley from the British. Marin followed the
route that Céloron had mapped out four years earlier, but where
Céloron had limited the record of French claims to the burial of
lead plates, Marin constructed and garrisoned forts. The first fort
constructed by Paul Marin was Fort Presque Isle (near present-day Erie, Pennsylvania) on Lake Erie's south shore.
He then had a
road built to the headwaters of LeBoeuf
. Marin then constructed a second fort at
Boeuf (present-day Waterford, Pennsylvania), designed to guard the headwaters of LeBoeuf
As he moved south, he drove off or captured British
traders, alarming both the British and the Iroquois. Tanaghrisson
, a chief of the Mingo
with an intense dislike for the French (whom he
accused of killing and eating his father), went to Fort Le Boeuf,
where he threatened action against them, which Marin contemptuously
They Iroquois sent runners to William Johnson
's manor in
upstate New York. Johnson, known to the Iroquois as
", meaning "He who does big business", had
become a respected member of the Iroquois
in the area. In 1746, Johnson was made a colonel of
the Iroquois, and later a colonel of the Western New York Militia.
at Albany, New
York with Governor Clinton and officials
from some of the other American colonies.
insisted that the British abide by their obligations and block
French expansion. When an unsatisfactory response was offered by
Clinton, Chief Hendrick proclaimed that the "Covenant Chain
", a long-standing friendly
relationship between the Iroquois Confederacy and the British
Crown, was broken.
Governor Robert Dinwiddie
found himself in a
predicament. Many merchants had invested heavily in fur trading in
the Ohio Country. If the French made good on their claim to the
Ohio Country and drove out the British, then the Virginian
merchants would lose a lot of money.
To counter the French military presence in Ohio, in October 1753
Dinwiddie ordered Major George
of the Virginia
to deliver a message to the French, warning them to
leave Virginia territory. Washington, along with his interpreter
Jacob Van Braam and several other
men, left for Fort Le
Boeuf on October 31. A few days later,
they arrived at Wills Creek (near
present-day Cumberland, Maryland).
Here Washington enlisted the help of
Christopher Gist, a surveyor who was familiar with the area.
Washington and his party arrived at Logstown on November 24. At
Logstown, Washington met with Tanaghrisson, and convinced him to
accompany his small group to Fort Le Boeuf.
On December 12, Washington and his men reached Fort Le Boeuf.
Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, who replaced Marin as commander
of the French forces after the latter died on October 29, invited
Washington to dine with him that evening. Over dinner, Washington
presented Saint-Pierre with the letter from Dinwiddie that demanded
an immediate French withdrawal from the Ohio Country. Saint-Pierre
was quite civil in his response, saying, "As to the Summons you
send me to retire, I do not think myself obliged to obey it." He
explained to Washington that France's claim to the region was
superior to that of the British, since René-Robert
Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle
had explored the Ohio Country
nearly a century earlier.
Washington's party left Fort Le Boeuf early
on December 16, arriving back in Williamsburg on January 16, 1754.
In his report,
Washington stated, "The French had swept south", detailing the
steps they had taken to fortify the area, and communicating their
intention to fortify the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers
The earliest authenticated portrait of George Washington shows him
wearing his colonel's uniform of the Virginia Regiment from the
French and Indian War.
This portrait was painted years after the war, in 1772.
Dinwiddie, even before Washington returned, sent a group of 50 men
under William Trent to that point, where in February 1754 they
constructed a small stockaded
Governor Duquesne recalled Legardeur, but sent another 600 troupes
de la Marine under Claude-Pierre Pecaudy de Contrecoeur to the
area. Contrecoeur arrived at the forks in
mid-April, where he allowed Trent and his company to withdraw, and
then began construction of Fort Duquesne.
After Washington returned to Williamsburg with his report,
Dinwiddie ordered him to lead a larger force to assist Trent in his
work. While en route, he learned of Trent's retreat. Since
Tanaghrisson had promised him support, he continued toward Fort
Duquesne, and met with the Mingo leader. Learning of a French
scouting party in the area, Washington took some of his men, and
with Tanaghrisson and his party, surprised the
French on May 28.
Many of the French were
massacred, among them their commanding officer, Joseph Coulon de Jumonville
whose head was split open by Tanaghrisson. Historian Fred Anderson
puts forward the reason for
Tanaghrisson's act (which was followed up by one of Tanaghrisson's
men informing Contrecoeur that Jumonville had been killed by
British musket fire) as one of desperate need to win the support of
the British in an effort to regain authority over his people, who
were more inclined to support the French.
the massacre, Washington pulled back several miles and established
Fort Necessity, which the French then attacked on
The engagement led to Washington's
surrender; he negotiated a withdrawal under arms. One of
Washington's men reported that the French force was accompanied by
Shawnee, Delaware, and Mingo—just those Tanaghrisson was seeking to
When news of the two battles reached England in August, the
government of the Duke
, after several months of negotiations, decided to
send an army expedition the following year to dislodge the French.
Major General Edward Braddock
chosen to lead the expedition. Word of the British military plans
leaked to France well before Braddock's departure for North
America, and King Louis XV
dispatched a much larger body of troops to Canada
in 1755. The British, intending to
blockade French ports, sent out their fleet in February 1755, but
the French fleet had already sailed. Admiral Edward Hawke
detached a fast
squadron to North America in an attempt to intercept the French. In
a second British act of aggression, Admiral Edward Boscawen
fired on the French ship Alcide
June 9, 1755, capturing her and two troop ships. The British
harassed French shipping throughout 1755, seizing ships and
capturing seamen, contributing to the eventual formal declarations
of war in spring 1756.
British campaigns, 1755
The British formed an aggressive plan of operations for 1755.
Braddock was to lead the expedition to Fort Duquesne, while
provincial governor William Shirley
was given the task of fortifying Fort Oswego and attacking Fort Niagara, Sir
William Johnson was to capture Fort St.
Frédéric (at present-day Crown Point, New York), and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Monckton was to capture Fort Beauséjour on the frontier between
Scotia and Acadia.
Braddock led about 2,000 army troops
and provincial militia on an
in June 1755 to take Fort Duquesne. The expedition
disaster, with Braddock mortally wounded.
opponents in the American
, Washington and Thomas
, played key roles in organizing the retreat. One
consequence of the debacle was that the French acquired a copy of
the British war plans, including the activities of Shirley and
Johnson. Shirley's efforts to fortify Oswego were bogged down in
logistical difficulties and magnified by Shirley's inexperience in
managing large expeditions. When it was clear he would not have time to
mount an expedition across Lake Ontario to Fort Ontario, Shirley left garrisons at Oswego,
Fort Bull, and Fort Williams (the latter
two located on the Oneida Carry between
the Mohawk River and Wood Creek at present-day Rome, New
Supplies for use in the projected attack
on Niagara were cached at Fort Bull.
Johnson's expedition was better organized than Shirley's, something
that did not escape the attention of New France's governor,
the Marquis de Vaudreuil
. He had primarily been concerned about
the extended supply line to the forts on the Ohio, and had sent
to lead the
defenses at Frontenac against Shirley's expected attack. When
Johnson was seen as the larger threat, Vaudreuil sent Dieskau to
Fort St. Frédéric to meet that threat. Dieskau planned to
attack the British encampment at Fort Edward at the upper end of navigation on the Hudson River, but Johnson had strongly
fortified it, and Dieskau's Indian support was reluctant to
attack. The two forces finally met in the bloody
Battle of Lake George between
Fort Edward and Fort William Henry.
The battle ended inconclusively, with both
sides withdrawing from the field. Johnson's advance stopped at Fort William
Henry, and the French withdrew to Ticonderoga point, where they
began the construction of Fort Carillon (later renamed Fort Ticonderoga after British
capture in 1759).
Monckton, in the only real British success that year, successfully
Fort Beauséjour in June 1755, cutting the French fortress at
Louisbourg off from land-based reinforcements.
victory was tarnished by the decision of Nova Scotia's Governor
order the deportation of the French-speaking Acadian
population from the area. Monckton's forces,
including companies of Rogers'
, forcibly removed
thousands of Acadians, chasing down many who resisted, and
sometimes committing atrocities. The Acadian resistance, in concert
with native allies, including the Mi'kmaq
was sometimes quite stiff, with ongoing frontier raids.
clash of any size was the 1757 Battle of Bloody Creek near
French victories, 1756–1757
Conference between the French and
Indian leaders around a ceremonial fire.
Following the death of Braddock, William Shirley assumed command of
British forces in North America. At a meeting in Albany in December
1755 he laid out his plans for 1756. In addition to
renewing the efforts to capture Niagara, Crown Point and Duquesne,
he proposed attacks on Fort Frontenac on the north shore of Lake Ontario and an
expedition through the wilderness of the Maine district and down the Chaudière River to attack the city of Quebec.
Bogged down by disagreements and disputes
with others, including William Johnson and New York's Governor
Sir Charles Hardy
, Shirley's plan had
little support, and Newcastle replaced him in January 1756 with
with Major General James
as his second in command. Neither of these men had
as much campaign experience as the trio of officers France sent to
North America. French regular army
reinforcements arrived in New France in May 1756, led by Major
General Louis-Joseph de
and seconded by the Chevalier de Lévis
François-Charles de Bourlamaque, all experienced veterans from the
War of the Austrian
Governor Vaudreuil, who harboured ambitions to become the French
commander in chief (in addition to his role as governor), acted
during the winter of 1756 before those reinforcements arrived.
Scouts had reported the weakness of the British supply chain, so he
ordered an attack against the forts Shirley had erected at the
. In the March Battle of
Fort Bull, French forces destroyed the fort and large
quantities of supplies, including 45,000 pounds of gunpowder,
effectively setting back any British hopes for campaigns on Lake
Ontario, and endangering the Oswego garrison, which was already
short on supplies.
French forces in the Ohio valley also
continued to intrigue with Indians throughout the area, encouraging
them to raid frontier settlements. This led to ongoing alarms along
the western frontiers, with streams of refugees returning east to
get away from the action.
The new British command was not in place until July. Abercrombie,
when he arrived in Albany, refused to take any significant actions
until Loudoun approved them. His inaction was met by Montcalm with
bold action. Building on Vaudreuil's work harassing the Oswego
garrison, Montcalm executed a strategic feint
by moving his headquarters to Ticonderoga, as if to presage another
attack along Lake George. With Abercrombie pinned down at Albany,
Montcalm slipped away and led the successful attack on Oswego in August.
In the aftermath, Montcalm and
the Indians under his command disagreed about the disposition of
prisoners' personal effects. These sorts of items were not prizes
in European warfare, but Indians were angered by the fact that the
French troops prevented them from stripping the prisoners of their
Loudoun, a capable administrator but a cautious field commander,
planned only one major operation for 1757: an attack on New
France's capital, Quebec. Leaving a sizable force at Fort William
Henry to distract Montcalm, he began organizing for the expedition
to Quebec, only to be ordered by William Pitt
, the Secretary of
responsible for the colonies, to attack Louisbourg first.
delays of all kinds, the expedition was ready to sail from Halifax,
Nova Scotia in early
However, French ships had managed to escape the
British blockade of the French coast, and a fleet outnumbering the
British one awaited them at Louisbourg. Faced with this
strength Loudoun returned to New York amid news that a massacre
had occurred at Fort William Henry.
French irregular forces (Canadian scouts and Indians) harassed Fort
William Henry throughout the first half of 1757. In January they
ambushed British rangers
near Ticonderoga. In February they launched a daring raid against
the position across the frozen Lake George, destroying storehouses
and buildings outside the main fortification. In early August,
Montcalm and 7,000 troops besieged the fort, which capitulated with
an agreement to withdraw under parole. When the withdrawal began,
some of Montcalm's Indian allies, angered at the lost opportunity
for loot, attacked the British column, killing and capturing
several hundred men.
British conquest, 1758–1760
The Victory of Montcalm's Troops
at Carillon by Henry Alexander Ogden.
The British failures in North America, combined with other failures
in the European theater, led to the fall from power of Newcastle
and his principal military advisor, the Duke of Cumberland.
Newcastle and Pitt then joined
in an uneasy coalition
where Pitt dominated the military
planning. He embarked on a plan for the 1758 campaign that was
largely developed by Loudoun, who was replaced by Abercrombie as
commander in chief, after the failures of 1757. Pitt's plan called
for three major offensive actions involving large numbers of
regular troops, supported by the provincial militias, aimed at
capturing the heartlands of New France
Vaudreuil and Montcalm were only minimally resupplied in 1758, as
the British blockade of the French coastline again limited French
shipping. The situation in New France was further exacerbated by a
poor harvest in 1757, a difficult winter, and the allegedly corrupt
machinations of François Bigot
the intendant of the
, whose schemes to supply the colony inflated prices
and were believed by Montcalm to line his pockets and those of his
associates. A massive outbreak of smallpox
among western tribes led many of them to stay away in 1758. While
many parties to the conflict blamed others (the Indians critically
blaming the French for bringing "bad medicine" as well as denying
them prizes at Fort William Henry), the disease was probably spread
through the crowded conditions at William Henry after the battle.
In the light of these conditions, Montcalm focused his meager
resources on the defense of the Saint Lawrence, with primary
defenses at Carillon, Quebec, and Louisbourg, while Vaudreuil
argued unsuccessfully for a continuation of the raiding tactics
that had worked quite effectively in previous years.
In 1758 two of the British expeditions were successful, with
falling to sizable
British forces. The third was stopped with the improbable
French victory in the Battle of Carillon, in which 4,000 Frenchmen famously defeated
Abercrombie's force of 16,000 outside the fort the French called
Carillon and the British called Ticonderoga. Abercrombie saved something from the
disaster when he sent John
Bradstreet on an expedition that successfully captured
Fort Frontenac, including a large cache of supplies destined for
New France's western forts and furs destined for Europe.
Abercrombie was recalled and replaced by Jeffrey Amherst
In the aftermath of generally poor French results in most theaters
of the Seven Years' War in 1758, France's new foreign minister, the
, decided to focus on an invasion of
, to draw British resources away from North America and
the European mainland. The invasion failed both militarily and
politically, as Pitt again planned significant campaigns against
New France, and sent funds to Britain's ally on the mainland,
Prussia, and the French Navy failed in naval
battles at Lagos and Quiberon
In one piece of good fortune, some
French supply ships managed to reach New France, eluding blockades
on both sides of the Atlantic.
victories continued in all theaters in the Annus Mirabilis of 1759, when they
finally captured Ticonderoga, James Wolfe defeated
Montcalm at Quebec (in a battle that claimed the lives of both
commanders), and victory at Fort Niagara successfully cut off the French frontier forts
further to the west and south. The victory was made
complete in 1760, when, despite losing outside Quebec City in the
Sainte-Foy, the British were able to prevent French relief
ships from arriving in the naval Battle of the Restigouche while
their armies marched on Montreal from three sides.
In September of 1760, Governor Vaudreuil negotiated a surrender
with General Amherst. Amherst granted Vaudreuil's request that any
French residents who chose to remain in the colony would be given
freedom to continue worshiping in their Roman Catholic
tradition, continued ownership
of their property, and the right to remain undisturbed in their
homes. The British provided medical treatment for the sick and
wounded French soldiers and French regular
were returned to France aboard British ships with an
agreement that they were not to serve again in the present
The descent of the French on St. John's, Newfoundland, 1762
Most of the fighting between France and Britain in continental
North America ended in 1760. The notable exception was a French attempt
to gain a bargaining chip for peace talks in 1762, when Choiseul
sent a small fleet that gained control of St. John's,
Newfoundland in June of that year. When General Amherst
heard of this surprise action, he immediately dispatched troops
under his nephew William Amherst, who
regained control of Newfoundland in the Battle of
Signal Hill in September.
troops from North America were reassigned to participate in further
British actions in the West Indies, including the capture of Spanish Havana when Spain
belatedly entered the conflict on the side of France, and a
expedition against French Martinique in 1762.
General Amherst also oversaw the transition of French forts in the
western lands to British control. The policies he introduced in
those lands disturbed large numbers of Indians, and contributed to
the outbreak in 1763 of the conflict known as Pontiac's Rebellion
. This series of
attacks on frontier forts and settlements required the continued
deployment of British troops, and was not resolved until
The war in North America officially ended with the signing of the
Treaty of Paris
10, 1763, and war in the European theatre of the Seven Years' War
was settled by the Treaty of
on February 15, 1763. The British offered
France a choice of either its North American possessions east of
the Mississippi or the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, which had been occupied by the British.
chose to cede Canada, and was able to negotiate the retention of
and Miquelon, two small islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and
fishing rights in the area.
The economic value of the
Caribbean islands to France was greater than that of Canada because
of their rich sugar
crops, and they were
easier to defend. The British, however, were happy to take New
France, as defence was not an issue, and they already had many
sources of sugar. Spain, which traded Florida to Britain to regain Cuba, also
gained Louisiana, including
Orleans, from France in compensation for its
The war changed economic, political, and social relations between
three European powers (Britain, France, and Spain), their colonies
and colonists, and the natives that inhabited the territories they
claimed. France and Britain both suffered financially because of
the war, with significant long-term consequences.
Britain gained control of French
, colonies containing
approximately 80,000 primarily French-speaking Roman Catholic
residents. The deportation of Acadians beginning in 1755 resulted
in land made available to migrants from Europe and the colonies
further south. The British resettled many Acadians throughout its
North American provinces, but many went to France, and some went to
New Orleans, which they had expected to remain French. Some were sent to
colonize places as diverse as French Guiana and the Falkland Islands; these latter efforts were unsuccessful.
Others migrated to places like Saint-Domingue
, and fled to New Orleans after
the Haitian Revolution
Louisiana population contributed to the founding of the modern
the peace treaty, King
George III issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763 on
October 7, 1763, which outlined the division and administration of
the newly conquered territory, and to some extent continues to
govern relations between the government of Canada and the
First Nations. Included in its
provisions was the reservation of lands west of the Appalachian
Mountains to its Indian population, an act that was extremely
unpopular in the colonies, where many thought the war was fought to
gain access to those lands.
The proclamation also contained
provisions that the Roman Catholic Canadians found unacceptable.
When accommodations were made in the Quebec
in 1774 to address these issues, they fanned religious
concerns in the largely Protestant Thirteen Colonies
over the advance of
The Seven Years' War nearly doubled Britain's national debt. The
Crown, seeking sources of revenue to pay off the debt, attempted to
impose new taxes on its colonies. These attempts were met with
increasingly stiff resistance, until troops were called in so that
representatives of the Crown could safely perform their duties.
These acts ultimately led to the start of the American Revolutionary War
France attached comparatively little value to its North American
possessions, especially in respect to the highly profitable
islands, which it
managed to retain. Minister Choiseul
considered he had
made a good deal at the Treaty of
, and philosopher Voltaire
that Louis XV had only lost "a few acres of snow". For France
however, the military defeat and the financial burden of the war
weakened the monarchy and contributed to the advent of the French Revolution
For many native populations, the elimination of French power in
North America meant the disappearance of a strong ally
and counterweight to
British expansion, leading to their ultimate dispossession.
Although the Spanish takeover of the Louisiana territory (which was
not completed until 1769) had only modest repercussions, the
British takeover of Spanish Florida resulted in the westward
migration of tribes that did not want to do business with the
British, and a rise in tensions between the Choctaw
and the Creek
historic enemies whose divisions the British at times exploited.
The change of control in Florida also prompted most of its Spanish
Catholic population to leave. Most went to Cuba, including the entire
governmental records from St. Augustine, although some Christianized Yamasee were resettled to the coast of Mexico.
The history of the Seven Years' War, particularly the siege of
Quebec and the deaths of British Brigadier General James Wolfe
and French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
a vast number of ballads, broadsides, images, maps and other
printed materials, which testify to how this event continued to
capture the imaginations of the British and French publics long
after their deaths in 1759.
would soon return to North America in 1778 with the establishment
of a Franco-American
alliance against Great Britain in the American War of
This time France succeeded in prevailing
over Great Britain, in what could be seen as a revenge for Montcalm
|Battle of Jumonville Glen
the Great Meadows (Fort
||May 29 – July 9
June 3 – 16
Battle of Lake George
August 10 – 14
|Battle of Fort Bull
Battle of Sideling
Battle of Great
Britain declares war
France declares war
|Rome, New York
near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
County, West Virginia
August 2 – 9
Battle of Sabbath Day
Fort William Henry
Attack on German
Second Battle of Bloody
Fort Carillon, New York
Sabbath Day Point, New York
Royal, Nova Scotia
June 8 – July 26
July 7 – 8
Siege of Louisbourg
Battle of Fort
George, New York
||July 26 – 27
July 6 – 26
|Battle of Ticonderoga
Battle of La
the Plains of Abraham
|Ticonderoga, New York
Fort Niagara, New York
near Fort Niagara, New York
July 3 – 8
August 16 – 24
|Battle of Sainte-Foy
Battle of Restigouche
Battle of the Thousand
||Battle of Signal Hill
||Treaty of Paris
Battles and expeditions
- United States
- Battle of Lake George
(September 8, 1755)
- Battle of Fort Oswego (August 10–14, 1756)
- Battle of Fort Bull (March 27, 1756)
- Battle on Snowshoes
(January 21, 1757)
- Battle of Sabbath Day
Point (July 23, 1757)
- Battle of Fort William Henry (August 9, 1757)
- Attack on German
Flatts (November 12, 1757)
- Battle on Snowshoes (March
- Battle of Carillon (July 8, 1758)
- Battle of La
Belle-Famille (July 24, 1759)
- Battle of Fort Niagara (July 6–26, 1759)
- Battle of Ticonderoga (July 26, 1759)
- Battle of the
Thousand Islands, August 16–25, 1760
- Trafzer, Clifford E. As long as the grass shall grow and rivers
flow a history of Native Americans. Fort Worth: Harcourt College,
2000 p. 91.
- Jennings, Empire of Fortune, xv.
- Anderson, Crucible of War, 747.
- The Canadian Encyclopedia: Seven Years'
- L'Encyclopédie canadienne: Guerre de Sept
- Fowler, Empires at War, 14.
- Fowler, p. 15.
- Fowler, p. 31.
- Fowler, p. 35.
- Ellis, His Excellency George Washington, 5.
- Fowler, p. 36.
- Anderson (2000), pp. 51–59.
- Anderson (2000), pp. 59–65.
- Fowler, p. 52.
- Lengel p. 52.
- Fowler, p. 64.
- Fowler, pp. 74–75.
- Fowler, p. 98.
- Fowler, p. 98.
- Fowler, p. 138.
- Fowler, p. 139.
- Cave, p. 21.
- Calloway, pp. 161–164.
- Cave, p. 52.
- Cave, p. xii.
- Cave, p. xii.
- Calloway, pp. 133–138.
- Calloway, pp. 152–156.
- Virtual Vault, an online exhibition of Canadian
historical art at Library and Archives Canada.
- Cave, p. 82.
- Eckert, Allan W. Wilderness
Empire. Bantam Books, 1994, originally published 1969. ISBN
0-553-26488-5. Second volume in a series of historical narratives,
with emphasis on Sir William Johnson. Academic historians often
regard Eckert's books, which are written in the style of novels, to
be unreliable, as they contain things like dialogue that is clearly
- Parkman, Francis. Montcalm and Wolfe: The French and Indian
War. Originally published 1884. New York: Da Capo, 1984.