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French and Indian War


EVENTS BEFORE THE WAR

European wars

  • Europe's "long peace" (Ended 1739 when Britain declared war on Spain)

  • War of Jenkin's Ear

  • Merchant Robert Jenkins's ear was cut off by Spanish customs agent.

  • Enraged British

  • War merged into War of the Austrian Succession in Europe

  • War of Austrian Succession

  • Prussia (French ally) attacked Austria (GB ally)

  • American part of the battle was called "King George's War"

Battles in America

  • SOUTH:

  • Spanish Florida had been fighting war with South Carolina and Georgia

  • NORTH:

  • French raiding New England shipping.

  • Then taking refuge in fort Louisbourg (state-of-the-art fortress) on Cape Breton Island.

  • Massachusetts captured Louisbourg in 1745.

  • But fort returned to French by British in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.

  • In return for French concessions elsewhere.

  • Parliament reimbursed Massachusetts for expenses

  • But Mass. still unhappy about 500 lives lost

  • And continued French harassment of New England merchants

King George's War

American leg of the War of Austrian Succession (see above)

FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR


Differed from early Fr/Br. wars

  • Was a worldwide war

  • Br. v. Fr. in West Indies, India, Europe and North America

  • War began in North America

  • British goal

  • to expel French from North America

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

Population differences

  • British Colonies -- 1.2 million white colonists + British troops

  • French Colonies -- 50,000 whites

  • Spanish Colonies -- 20,000 whites north of Mexico


French advantages

  • Alliance with Indians (west of Appalachians, between Ohio River and Great Lakes)

  • Colonists already claiming the "Ohio Country"

  • speculators, like George Washington, already held titles to land)

  • Shawnees, Delawares, Miamis aligned with French

  • French had no ambition to settle area (not enough colonists)

  • Indians traded furs for French goods, incl. arms

  • French stopped British settlement

KEY EVENTS IN WAR


George Washington and Ft. Necessity

  • French laid out string of forts

  • Governor of VA sent Washington west to tell French they were trespassing

  • French rejected VA claims to land

  • Washington back with small force but run off by Indians and French

  • Washington holed up at quickly constructed Ft. Necessity

  • Washington soundly defeated in skirmish

  • French built Fort Duquesne.

Fort Duquesne

  • British Parliament sent troops under General Edward Braddock to VA

  • Washington was Braddock's aide in charge of VA volunteers

  • Duquesne only manned by 150 Canadian volunteers and 600 Indians

  • Indians said they would leave when heard that Braddock's troops coming but French convinced them to stay and launch surprise attack. (ambush style was alien to Braddock)

  • Braddock was killed, Washington organized the rest of the troops.

  • 2.3 of British and Virginians killed or captured. (French/Indians only lost 23)

TREATY OF PARIS 1763

  • New France divided at Mississippi River

  • Spain gets French territory west of Mississippi River (gives up Florida to British)

  • Britain gets French territory to the east of Mississippi River (and Florida from Spanish)

  • France maintains West Indies sugar colonies of Martinique and Guadeloupe


LESSONS FROM WAR

  • American colonists serving in English army saw how English treated soldiers (badly)

  • Caused anti-British sentiments among colonial soldiers.

  • American officers, like Washington, could not rise ranks of militiary

  • English officers believed American colonists were unsophisticated because they fought like the Indians (guerrilla tactics)


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