French and Indian War
The French and Indian War was a major war fought in the American Colonies between 1754 and 1763. The British gained significant territory in North America as a result of the war.
The French meet with Indian leaders
by Emile Louis Vernier
From the name of the war, you would probably guess that the French fought the Indians during the French and Indian War. Actually, the main enemies in the war were the French and the British. Both sides had American Indian allies. The French allied with several tribes including the Shawnee, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, and the Algonquin peoples. The British allied with the Iroquois, Catawba, and the Cherokee (for a time).
How is it different from the Seven Years War?
The French and Indian war is considered part of the Seven Years War. The Seven Years War was fought throughout much of the world. The portion of the Seven Years War that was fought in North America is called the French and Indian War.
Where was it fought?
The war was fought mostly in the northeast along the border between the British colonies and the French Colonies of New France.
Leading up to the War
As the American colonies began to expand to the west, they came into conflict with the French. The first real conflict began when the French moved into the Ohio country and built Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River (where the city of Pittsburgh is today). It was over the construction of this fort that the first battle of the war, the Battle of Jumonville Glen, took place on May 28, 1754.
Major Battles and Events
- General Braddock at Fort Duquesne (1755) - British General Braddock led 1500 men to take Fort Duquesne. They were ambushed and soundly defeated by French and Indian soldiers.
- Battle of Fort Oswego (1756) - The French captured the British Fort Oswego and took 1,700 prisoners captive.
- Massacre at Fort William Henry (1757) - The French took Fort William Henry. Many British soldiers were massacred as France's Indian allies violated the terms of the British surrender and killed around 150 British soldiers.
- Battle of Quebec (1759) - The British claimed a decisive victory over the French and occupied Quebec City.
- Fall of Montreal (1760) - The city of Montreal falls to the British led by Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst. The fighting is nearly over in the American colonies.
by Joshua Reynolds
The French and Indian War ended on February 10, 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. France was forced to give up all of its North American territory. Britain gained all of the land east of the Mississippi River and Spain gained the land west of the Mississippi.
The French and Indian War had some major consequences on the future of the British colonies in America.
The war was expensive for the British government to fight. In order to pay for it, they issued taxes on the colonies. The British government considered this fair as they were protecting the interests of the colonies. The colonies, however, felt that they should not be taxed unless they had representation in the British government.
Also, this war was the first time that the colonies united together to fight a common enemy. They built up colonial militias and gained confidence in their fighting abilities. In the end, the events of the French and Indian War played a major role leading up to the American Revolution.
Interesting Facts about the French and Indian War
- Daniel Boone was a supply-wagon driver during the French and Indian War.
- George Washington served as a colonel in the provincial militia during the war. He was the leader at the first battle of the war, the Battle of Jumonville Glen.
- The British captured Havana, Cuba from Spain in 1762 near the end of the war. They later exchanged Havana for Florida as part of the peace treaty.
- The French were greatly outnumbered by the British and had to rely heavily on American Indian soldiers and allies.
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History >> Colonial America