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The French and Indian War

1754-63

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The French and Indian War was the last of four major colonial

wars between the British, the French, and their Native American

allies for control of North America .As French New France and

the English colonies expanded toward each other, they were

destined to come into conflict. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle

which ended the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-8), where

its North American operations were known as King George's War,

did very little to set matters to rest in North America; it provided

only a short breathing spell before the numerous unsettled

 treaty questions and gave rise to another and far greater war.

The treaty did little or nothing toward marking out boundaries

either at the east in Acadia, or at the west toward the Ohio

valley, and it was in the latter region that the next great storm

was to burst.

 

Maps of the area of conflict in the French and Indian War

View larger image here .

 

 Another map of the French and

Indian War with stateboundaries .

 View a larger image here .

 

 

 French And Indian War Documentary

 

On March 16, 1749, King George II granted large tracts of land

to the Ohio Company. The grant had a stipulation that the

company must establish a settlement of 100 families and build

a fort within seven years.  The English felt this land was theirs,

based upon the land of English colonies extending "from sea to

sea".

 

 

When the colonies were first established, America was only

estimated to be about 300 miles wide. The French felt these

lands were theirs through right of discovery and had been an

trading area of the French. Alarmed at the influx of British

traders into the Ohio country, Marquis de La Galissoniere sent

Captain Pierre Joseph Celeron de Blainville into this Ohio country

 with 213 men on June 15, 1749. Celeron planted lead tablets

along the Ohio River inscribed with France's claim to the

territory.

 

 

Tablets, however, did little to keep the English traders out of

the area and the Indians preferred the cheaper and higher

quality goods the English had to offer. Galissoniere was

replaced as governor by Jacques Pirre de Jonquiere, who took

more aggressive action. Raids were sent against the

Shawnees , who had traded with the English in the Ohio country

and Fort Rouille (Toronto) was built to block trade between the

Great Lakes and Oswego in New York.

 

Iroquoi fort under attack in the Beaver Wars

 View larger image here .

 

 

 

Most of the Ohio Country had been conquered by the Iroquois

in the Beaver Wars (1638-84). The Iroquois Confederation

( Mohawk,Onedia,Onondaga,Cayuga and Seneca) fought against the Hurons,Ottowas,Neutrals,Miamis,Mohicans,Susquehanocks,

Delawares,Eries and other Algonquian-speaking tribes to control

the fur trade and expand territory. The Iroquois were armed by

Dutch and  later English traders and their enemies were

supported by the French. Alliances made during these times

would become important in the French and Indian War.The

Beaver Wars together with European introduced diseases

severely weakened both the Iroquois and Algonquian speaking

tribes.

 

On June 16, 1744 commissioners from Maryland,Virginia and

Pennsylvania meet with representatives of the six nations of the

Iroquois Confederacy, which claimed the Ohio country by right of

conquest after the Beaver Wars (1638-84) and used the area as

a hunting ground. The Iroquois agreed to cede for about

800 £ in colonial currency and 300 £ worth of gold. Within

months of the treaty, 300,000 acres of land had been granted.

On June 21, 1753, a half breed French-Indian agent, Charles

Langlade, who led the Ojibwas (Chippewas) attacked Pickawilly,

Ohio, the main base of the Miami Indians who had been trading

with the English.13 Miami warriors and one English trader were

killed, three others taken captive. Chief Memeskia of the Miami

was killed and ritually eaten. The attack drove the English

traders out of the Ohio country. The Miami, Shawnee and

Delaware switched allegiance to the French .Chief Tanaghrisson

of the Senecas (an Iroquois tribe) asked that a fort be build in

present day Pittsburgh for protection, which the English did two

years later.

 

On July 1, 1752, a new governor was appointed in New France,

Marquis Duquesne, who ordered the construction of  new forts

to secure control of the Ohio country and began construction of

Fort LeBoeuf (Waterford, Penn). Meanwhile, in England, Lord

Halifax, arguing that the French, in moving into the Ohio country,

had broken the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, which acknowledged the

Iroquois as British subjects, therefore, their land, even areas

conquered by them were British. Since the Ohio country was

seen to be an extension of Virginia, Governor Robert Dinwiddle

of Virginia was authorized to evict the French from the disputed

area. Dinwiddle dispatched George Washington to deliver an

ultimatum to the commander of Fort LeBoeuf, Captain Legardeur

de Saint-Pierre. Washington set out from Williamsburg on

October 31, 1753.


 

Clips of battles in the French and Indian War

 

Major Washington and a wounded General Braddock

at the Battle of Monongahela. Painting by Junius Brutus Stearns(1810-85),

  Washington as Captain in the French and Indian War ,1851 . Part of his

 Washington Series . View larger image here .

 

This land was under the control of the Iroquois tribes who for

the most part sided with France and launched brutal raids

against English settlements armed with French weapons .

Unlike the previous three wars colonial ( King William's War ,

called the War of the League of Ausburg in Europe 1689-1697,

Queen Anne's War, called the War of the Spanish Succession in

Europe (1702-1713) and King George's War , (1740-1748) the

French and Indian War began on North American soil after Major

Washington came into conflict with the French near modern day

Pittsburgh .This became one of the sparks that ignited the

Seven Years War in Europe .

 

The war spread  to Africa and India, making the conflict one of the first true 'world' wars  . In Europe,Prussia, Electorate Brunswick-Lüneburg, and United Kingdom fought against Austria, France (including the North American colony of New France and the French East India Company), the Russian Empire, Sweden, and Saxony.

 

The forces of General Wolfe making a surprise

attack on Quebec. London Magazine, 1760

 

France was initially successful in the war,which had better

relations with the Indians and adapted warfare to fit the New

World. However, the population of New France was much

smaller than that of the English colonies, and France sent

fewer and fewer supplies and troops to support a colony that

became to be seen as a drain on the country . After the fall of

Louisbourg and Quebec, France agreed to peace in 1763 .  The

heavy expense of the war, led the British to seek tax revenues

from the American colonists, which led to the American

Revolution .

 

Death of Montcalm

 Mort de Montcalm

Jacques François Desfontaines, 1789 .

 

The Treaty of Paris elevated Great Britain to the strongest

power in Europe with the largest world empire . A long dream

of the English colonists to stop the combined French and

Indian attacks was realized .The West lay open, and the

Indians stood alone and could no longer count on as being

courted as allies, playing one nation against the other . It was

inevitable that the Americans would expand into Indian lands .

 

Map of the New World after the Treaty of Paris. Gray area are

crown lands reserved for Indians. Louisiana given to Spain for

loss of Florida. France was left with two small islands off

Newfoundland .

View a larger image here.

 

The Treaty of Paris ended a century of Anglo-French conflict in

the New World, the French were left with the islands of Saint

Pierre and Miquelon, which have rich fishing grounds, south of

Newfoundland. France, realizing it would lose New France, made

a secret treat with Spain in 1762, which gave Spain the then

vast Louisiana territory and New Orleans . Spain had joined

France's side in 1761 .

 

To us of this day, the result of the American part of the war

seems a foregone conclusion. It was far from being so; and

very far from being so regarded by our forefathers. The

numerical superiority of the British colonies was offset by

organic weaknesses fatal to vigorous and united action. Nor at

the outset did they, or the mother-country, aim at conquering

Canada, but only at pushing back her boundaries. More than

one clear eye saw, at the middle of the last century, that the

subjection of Canada would lead to a revolt of the British

colonies. So long as an active and enterprising enemy

threatened their borders, they could not break with the mother-country.

 

French and Indian War Links

 

 Louisbourg National

Historic Park

 

French and Indian war

Foundation

 

Timeline of New France

 

Weapons of the

French and Indian War

 

Wikipedia on the F&I war

 

Fort Ticonderoga nat park

 

Montcalm and Wolfe: The French

and Indian War (1898)

 

Need a citation from this website ? Click here .

Link to us

 

Crucible of War

 The definitive academic history of the mid 18th-century

French and Indian War and its long-term consequences

for America and the world

 

Montcalm and Wolfe

(1884) classic by American historian Francis Parkman.

Parkman was a master of narrative history, with a sense of style

and gift of portraiture based upon a thorough knowledge

of the terrain and exhaustive and scrupulous scholarship

 Read for free at

Project Gutenburg

 

Last of the Mohicans DVD

watch trailer

Free Librivox audiobook

 

The Fall of New France

This handsome book extensively illustrated with paintings,

sketches, and colour photographs of important sites and artifacts

relating to the war, historian Ron Dale offers a narrative

encompassing all sides of the conflict and important

sites and fortification

 

Index of FrenchandIndianWar.info

 

Causes of the French and Indian War   

 

  English Advantages and Armed Forces

 

French Advantages and Armed forces    

 

 The Indian Nations   

 

Washington at Fort Le Boeuf    

Oct 31, 1753

 

Dinwiddie's Letter to the French

 

Skirmish at Jumonville Glen -

Battle at Fort Necessity   

May 28 - July 3, 1754

 

Battle of the Monongahela

or the Battle of the Wilderness

 July 9, 1755

 

Battle of Lake George   

Sept 8, 1755

 

Acadians expelled    

1755

 

New Commanders :

Campbell and Montcalm

 

Fort Oswego & The Battle

of Fort Henry  

August 3-9, 1757

 

Siege of  Louisbourg  

June 8-July 26, 1758

 

Montcalm's Victory

at Ticonderoga (Carillon )

July 8, 1758

 

Battle of the Plains of Abraham   

Sept 13, 1759

 

Treaty of Paris  

Feb 10, 1763

Consequences of the

French and Indian War

 

Weapons of the French and Indian War

 

Quiz on the French and Indian War

 

Timeline of the French and Indian War

 

French and Indian War audio

 

 

 

 

 

 

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