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The Seven Years War - History

The Seven Years War - History

Maria Theresa the ruler of Austria was unwilling to accept the loss of Silesia and she took steps to develop alliances to restore it. She accomplished a diplomatic revolution by creating an alliance between France and Austria. Great Britain had meanwhile allied itself with Prussia. France entered into an alliance with Sweden who then entered into an alliance with Denmark aimed against France. Thus the stage was set for a world war. It began when Prussia under Frederick the Great invaded Saxony. Austria, France, Russia and Sweden then declared war on Prussia and England soon declared war on France.

French and Indian War

The French and Indian War (1754–1763) pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by Native American allies. At the start of the war, the French colonies had a population of roughly 60,000 settlers, compared with 2 million in the British colonies. [4] The outnumbered French particularly depended on the natives.

  • Great Britain
    • British America
    • Kingdom of France
    • New France

    The European nations declared a wider war upon one another overseas in 1756, two years into the French and Indian War, and many view the French and Indian War as being merely the American theater of the worldwide Seven Years' War of 1756–63 however, the French and Indian War is viewed in the United States as a singular conflict which was not associated with any European war. [5] French Canadians call it Guerre de la Conquête ('War of the Conquest'). [6] [7]

    The British colonists were supported at various times by the Iroquois, Catawba, and Cherokee tribes, and the French colonists were supported by Wabanaki Confederacy member tribes Abenaki and Mi'kmaq, and the Algonquin, Lenape, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Shawnee, and Wyandot tribes. [8] Fighting took place primarily along the frontiers between New France and the British colonies, from the Province of Virginia in the south to Newfoundland in the north. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny River and Monongahela River called the Forks of the Ohio, and the site of the French Fort Duquesne at the location that later became Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The dispute erupted into violence in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754, during which Virginia militiamen under the command of 22-year-old George Washington ambushed a French patrol. [9]

    In 1755, six colonial governors met with General Edward Braddock, the newly arrived British Army commander, and planned a four-way attack on the French. None succeeded, and the main effort by Braddock proved a disaster he lost the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755, and died a few days later. British operations failed in the frontier areas of the Province of Pennsylvania and the Province of New York during 1755–57 due to a combination of poor management, internal divisions, effective Canadian scouts, French regular forces, and Native warrior allies. In 1755, the British captured Fort Beauséjour on the border separating Nova Scotia from Acadia, and they ordered the expulsion of the Acadians (1755–64) soon afterwards. Orders for the deportation were given by Commander-in-Chief William Shirley without direction from Great Britain. The Acadians were expelled, both those captured in arms and those who had sworn the loyalty oath to the King. Natives likewise were driven off the land to make way for settlers from New England. [10]

    The British colonial government fell in the region of Nova Scotia after several disastrous campaigns in 1757, including a failed expedition against Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry this last was followed by the Natives torturing and massacring their colonial victims. William Pitt came to power and significantly increased British military resources in the colonies at a time when France was unwilling to risk large convoys to aid the limited forces that they had in New France, preferring to concentrate their forces against Prussia and its allies who were now engaged in the Seven Years' War in Europe. The conflict in Ohio ended in 1758 with the British–American victory in the Ohio Country. Between 1758 and 1760, the British military launched a campaign to capture French Canada. They succeeded in capturing territory in surrounding colonies and ultimately the city of Quebec (1759). The following year the British were victorious in the Montreal Campaign in which the French ceded Canada in accordance with the Treaty of Paris (1763).

    France also ceded its territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain, as well as French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to its ally Spain in compensation for Spain's loss to Britain of Spanish Florida. (Spain had ceded Florida to Britain in exchange for the return of Havana, Cuba.) France's colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Great Britain's position as the dominant colonial power in northern America.


    Seiven Years' War

    The Seiven Years' War wis a global conflict focht atween 1756 an 1763. It involved ivery European great pouer o the time an spanned five continents, affectin Europe, the Americas, Wast Africae, Indie, and the Philippines.

    Status quo ante bellum in Europe. Transfer o colonial possessions atween Great Breetain, Fraunce, Spain, an Portugal.

    • Fraunce cedes its possessions east o the Mississippi River, Ontario (except Saint-Pierre an Miquelon), the island o Grenada, an the Northren Circars in Indie tae Great Breetain.
    • Fraunce cedes Louisiana an its territory wast o the Mississippi River tae Spain.
    • Spain cedes Florida to Great Britain.
    • Fower "neutral" Caribbean islands dividit atween Breetain (St. Vincent, Tobago, Dominica) an Fraunce (St. Lucia)

    Great Breetain

    • Ireland
    • Breetish Americae

    Proushie
    Portugal (from 1762)
    Hanover
    Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

    Fraunce

    • New Fraunce

    Roushie (till 1762)
    Spain

    • New Spain

    George II (personal union) (until 1760)
    George III (personal union) (frae 1760)
    William Pitt
    Frederick II

    Louis XV
    Duc de Choiseul
    Maria Theresa
    Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz
    Elizabeth (till 1762)
    Peter III (frae 1762)
    Charles III
    Adolph Frederick
    Alamgir II (tae 1759)


    What was the Seven Years War?

    The Seven Years War was a global conflict which ran from 1756 until 1763 and pitted a coalition of Great Britain and its allies against a coalition of France and its allies. The war escalated from a regional conflict between Great Britain and France in North America, known today as the French and Indian War. George Washington, a wealthy Virginia planter and an officer in the Virginia militia, served under British General Braddock in the early years of this conflict. The Seven Years War was the fourth war between Great Britain and France in the hundred-year period after 1689. While there had been some territorial concessions in the earlier wars, most of those earlier struggles returned each nation to their pre-war status. The Seven Years War was different in that it ended in a resounding victory for Great Britain and its allies and a humiliating defeat for France and its allies. France lost to Great Britain most of its North American colonial possessions, known as New France. This included Canada and all of its land east of the Mississippi River, including the Ohio Valley, to Great Britain.

    At the war’s end, Great Britain faced a number of serious geopolitical and financial problems. The first problem faced by the British government rose from the need to govern and protect vast new areas won during the long conflict. In North America, the British now had responsibility for Canada and the areas east of the Mississippi River. These former French colonies included thousands of Indians and many French-speaking Catholics who had no desire to become subjects of the British crown or to live under English common law. Great Britain also had control over East and West Florida which Spain, an ally of France, was forced to cede to Great Britain at the end of the war. Financing the administration of these new areas was a critical problem facing the British government at the war’s end.

    British regiment marching.

    Great Britain also faced a massive war debt at the end of the Seven Years War. As of January 5, 1763, the national debt stood at over £122,603,336. According to historian Charles Middlekauff in his work on the American Revolution, The Glorious Cause, the interest on this sum was over £4,409,797 per year. Complicating Britain’s financial problems, the government faced growing protests for tax relief after increasing taxes for those living in the British Isles. Protests against the heavy land taxes and the Cider Tax were especially strong there.
    The war’s end also marked a change of attitudes among people in Great Britain and in its American colonies. During the war, the British government was unable to persuade the colonial legislatures to satisfactorily contribute to the expenses of the war. With the French defeat, the British government did not believe it needed to accommodate the concerns of the colonial legislatures regarding monetary issues. At the same time, the removal of the French threat in North America gave the American colonists a new sense of self-confidence. Many colonists questioned why the British government thought it needed to leave an army in North America to protect its colonies from Indian uprisings.

    One of the critical problems faced by Great Britain at the end of the Seven Years War was its uneasy relations with the Indian tribes living in the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes. While these Indian tribes had traded with the French for years, few French settlers, other than trappers and traders, had moved into the areas south of the Great Lakes. After France and her Indian allies were defeated, British settlers began crossing the Appalachian Mountain in large numbers looking for good farmland. The Indians viewed the settlers, who wanted to claim the land, differently than the French fur traders with whom they had lived for many years.

    The actions of Major General Jeffrey Amherst, the British Commander of British forces in North America, also contributed to the tense relations between the British and the Indians in the final years of the war. The British, like the French, had enjoyed the support of a number of Indian tribes and, during the war, the chiefs of these tribes had received generous gifts from the British government. Gift giving was considered by the British and the French to be an integral part of maintaining good relations with the tribes. As military operations in North America came to a successful conclusion, General Amherst decided to discontinue the practice of giving gifts to Indian chiefs, as he believed he no longer needed their support. He also made the decision to cut back on trading gunpowder to the Indians. The Indians felt that the British were treating them as a conquered people and not as former allies.

    In May 1763, Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, led a number of Indian tribes in the area of the Great Lakes in an uprising against British forces and settlers along the frontier. While a few British forts on the frontier held out, over eight were taken. Hundreds of British soldiers were killed, and the settlers who survived the attacks fled from their farms on the frontier to the safe areas in the east. Commonly known as Pontiac’s Rebellion, the conflict lasted until 1764. Though peace treaties ended the fighting, the possibility of further conflicts with the Indians strongly affected Britain’s decision to leave a standing army in America after the Seven Years War.


    The Seven Years’ War Explained in Brief

    Commonly described as the world’s true first world war, the Seven Years’ War pitted colossal European kingdoms against one another from 1756 to 1763. The war involved three main empires – Great Britain, France and Spain – vying for imperial supremacy and maritime dominance. In turn, these nations were aided by a host of other European kingdoms and countries. Here is everything that you need to know about the Seven Years’ War.

    When was the war fought?

    The Seven Years’ War was a series of intermittent battles that spanned from 1756 to 1763.

    Who were the belligerents?

    The combatants were primarily Great Britain, France and Spain. The three countries had varying levels of support from several European nations.

    Britain had Prussia, Hanover and Portugal as allies. France, on the other hand, had the support of Spain, Russia, Sweden, Austria, and Saxony.

    In which places was the war primarily fought?

    Seven Years’ War – Areas of Combat and Belligerents. | Image – imgur.com

    The Seven Years’ War was a truly global war in the sense that it was fought on five different continents – North America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa (West African coast of Senegal), South America, and the Indian sub-continent. North America and the Caribbean saw the bulk of hostilities.

    In Europe, Britain shored up support for the Kingdom of Prussia, who was by then in bitter battle with Austria, an ally of France.

    What was the Seven Years’ War all about?

    Both France and Great Britain were in a bitter struggle to establish greater footing in North America. Basically, the two imperial countries, backed up by their respective allies, fought for colonial, maritime and trade supremacy.

    Britain and the American colonies had grown envious of the lucrative trade France enjoyed with the Native Americans on its vast territories.

    On the other hand, France was harboring immense hatred and envy towards British maritime dominance and trading routes.

    Another issue, although not so huge, was religion. Predominantly Protestant Britain was pitted against Catholic Spain and France.

    Why is the war sometimes called the “French and Indian War”?

    In North America, the Seven Years’ War was also known as the French and Indian War. The reason why the name had “Indian” in it was because the Native Americans partook in the war. Native American tribe like the Iroquois supported Great Britain. On the opposing side, Natives from the Algonquian tribes formed an alliance with the French. Both countries also had their respective colonial militia supporting them.

    The French were primarily based in the Northern and Eastern parts of North America – that is Canada and the Louisiana Territory. On the contrary, the British occupied the 13 American colonies to the west. The name “French and Indian War” originated from the American colonies. They viewed both the French and the Indians as enemies, hence the name “French and Indian War”. Additionally, from North Americans’ perspective, the war kicked off in 1754.

    The Seven Years’ War’s Origin Story

    The Seven Years’ War was the birth child of sporadic warfare between Britain and France. Its origin story dates back to the latter part of the 17th century. Bloodshed began around 1688, during the reign of King William. For the next few years, 1688 to 1699, France and Great Britain locked horns.

    The next severe battles were fought during the reign of Queen Anne of Great Britain. This particular war occurred for about eleven years, from 1702 to 1713. After this, Europe experienced relative peace for the next 30 years.

    During the reign of King George II, a third major battle ensued between the France and Great Britain. This war lasted from 1744 to 1748.

    In 1754, Britain and France were again locked in a bitter tussle. The dispute came as a result of both countries claiming sole ownership rights to Ohio Valley. The French went ahead to stake their claim by building some installments and structures on the valley. Angered by this move, the colonial governor of Virginia dispatched a group of soldiers to the valley. The militia was led by Colonel George Washington. It is believed that Washington’s men fired the first shots. His soldiers ambushed a group of French soldiers. The French were able to repel the attacks.

    Shortly after this skirmish, British government sent Major-General Edward Braddock and two regiments to the American colonies in 1755. Braddock was tasked to attack some very key French forts and positions along the border of Nova Scotia, the Ohio River and Lake Champlain.

    The French, under the command of Baron Armand Dieskau, responded by sending forces to shore up support at Louisbourg and Canada. After a several clashes, Braddock’s army was vanquished by a group of French and Native Indian forces. This officially kicked started the Seven Years’ War.

    1756 to 1758

    France sent several troops from Europe. These troops were under the command of Marquis de Montcalm. They arrived in April, 1756. Shortly after the arrival of French troops, Britain declared war on France.

    At the onset of the war, France appeared to be firm control of the war. They inflicted several damages on British forces. Several British forts fell at the hands of French forces. British fort at Oswego, close to Lake Ontario, fell in 1756. Similarly, Fort William Henry capitulated in 1757.

    The French had the greater number of Native Indians supporting them. American colonies and their frontiers endured numerous attacks from Canadian and Aboriginal fighters. Britain intervened by sending 20,000 troops to protect the American colonies. They also erected blockades on the French ports.

    1758 to 1762

    As the war drew into its latter years, events started to go in favor of Great Britain. The British forces were rejuvenated by then Prime Minister William Pitt, the Elder. Britain went into the offensive and inflicted immense casualties on France.

    Several French territories in North America, the Caribbean, and India capitulated under the British might. French forts such as Frontenac and Duquesne fell to the British. For example, Louisbourg fell in 1758.

    In 1759, Québec – France’s prized territory in North America – was captured by Britain. Québec was overrun by 9000 British forces under the command of Major-General James Wolfe. The city capitulated in the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759. Major-General James Wolfe successfully defeated his French counterpart, Marquis de Montcalm. The two commanders did not make it out alive of the battle.

    Also in 1759, Guadeloupe as well as several small Caribbean territories belonging to France fell. Shortly after that, on September 8, 1760, Montréal was overrun as well.

    What territories did Britain and her allies conquer?

    Britain defeated the French in so many of their territories – North America, the Caribbean, French Installations in India, French territories in West Africa – Senegal. France and Spain lost territories in Manila and Havana (Cuba) respectively.

    How many people died?

    It’s been estimated that close to a million people died during the Seven Years’ War. France and Austria suffered the biggest number of casualties.

    Peace Talks and the Treaty of Paris (1763)

    A map showing the resolutions made during the Paris Treaty of 1763

    By 1762, it had become apparently clear that France and Spain, as well their allies, were losing the war. They reached out to Britain and initiated a peace talk.

    Britain had also grown weary of the war. Unlike his predecessor George II, British monarch George III and his Prime Minister Lord Bute equally wanted to bring hostilities to an end. The war had become a huge financial drain on the British, even though they were wining.

    After 7 years of intense fighting, the three major sides – Britain, France, and Spain – brought hostilities to an end in the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763.

    Per the treaty signed, Britain got New France (Canada), Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tobago. France also gave up the eastern half of French Louisiana (from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains). In exchange for Havana (Cuba), Britain received Florida from Spain.

    Compared to the areas that Great Britain captured, France’s spoils from the war was quite minimal. France could only manage to hold onto some islands in the Caribbean, a few business installations in India, and territories off the West African coast. Spain, an ally of France, was allowed to retain the western half of French Louisiana, Manila in the Philippines, and Havana (Cuba).

    Early on, in 1762, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain. This deal (Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762) was done in secret. It only came to light in 1764.

    What happened after the Peace Treaty of 1763?

    The Seven Years’ War ended in France getting kicked out of North America. As a result of this, the American colonies were emboldened to take on their own masters – Britain. The French Foreign Minister Choiseul even predicted that the American colonies would sooner or later revolt against the British crown. Britain failed to take the prediction of Choiseul seriously.

    Shortly after the Peace Treaty of 1763, George III issued out a Royal Proclamation in October, 1763. The proclamation forbade American colonies from venturing westward into Native American territories. The idea behind the Proclamation of 1763 was to ensure that Great Britain would not get sucked into another war with the Native Americans.

    The Proclamation Line, which was established as a result of the Royal Proclamation, as well as Britain’s excessive and intolerable tax on the American colonies, infuriated the colonists. In the end, the American colonies revolted and declared themselves independent in 1776, 13 years after the end of the Seven Years’ War.


    Seven Years' War

    The Seven Years' War (1756–63) was the first global war, fought in Europe, India, and America, and at sea. In North America, imperial rivals Britain and France struggled for supremacy. In the United States, the conflict is known as the French and Indian War. Early in the war, the French (aided by Canadian militia and Indigenous allies) defeated several British attacks and captured a number of British forts. In 1758, the tide turned when the British captured Louisbourg, followed by Quebec City in 1759 and Montreal in 1760. With the Treaty of Paris of 1763, France formally ceded Canada to the British. The Seven Years’ War therefore laid the bicultural foundations of modern Canada.

    This is the full-length entry about the Seven Years’ War. For a plain-language summary, please seeSeven Years’ War (Plain-Language Summary).

    Benjamin West's canvas is among the most famous historical paintings of all time, but as a historical record it is among the worst. Although it contains numerous inaccuracies, its depiction of heroic death on a foreign battlefield remains a powerful image (courtesy NGC/8007). A copy of the declaration of war that in 1744 finally shattered the period of peace that followed the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 (courtesy Environment Canada/Parks). A View of the Taking of Quebec, 13 September 1759, published by Laurie and Whittle, 1759. The engraving shows the three stages of the battle: the British disembarking, scaling the cliff and the battle (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-1078). Richard Short's drawings show the devastation caused by the British bombardment of Québec during the siege of 1759 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-357). Montcalm, like British Commander James Wolfe, was killed at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-27665).

    Causes of the Seven Years’ War

    The Seven Years' War pitted the alliance of Britain, Prussia and Hanover against the alliance of France, Austria, Sweden, Saxony, Russia, and eventually Spain. The war was driven by the commercial and imperial rivalry between Britain and France, and by the antagonism between Prussia (allied to Britain) and Austria (allied to France). In Europe, Britain sent troops to help its ally, Prussia, which was surrounded by its enemies. However, the main British war aim was to destroy France as a commercial rival, and they therefore focused on attacking the French navy and colonies overseas. France was committed to fighting in Europe to defend its ally, Austria. It therefore had few resources to spare for its colonies.

    Hostilities in North America, 1754–55

    Hostilities began in 1754 in the Ohio Valley, which both the French and British had claimed. In 1753, the French built fortifications in the area to strengthen their claim. In response, the governor of Virginia (then a British colony) sent militia colonel George Washington to the Ohio frontier. Washington ambushed a small French detachment but was then defeated by a larger French force.

    Even though war had not yet been officially declared, the British began planning an assault against the French in America. Major-General Edward Braddock and two regular regiments were sent to America in 1755. Other regiments would be raised in the colonies, and a four-pronged attack would be launched against Niagara, Fort Beauséjour on the border of Nova Scotia, Fort Duquesne on the Ohio River, and Fort Saint-Frédéric [Crown Point] on Lake Champlain (in what is now New York state).

    On learning of these movements, the French ordered six battalions under Baron Armand Dieskau to reinforce Louisbourg and Canada. Vice-Admiral Edward Boscawen and a squadron of the British navy tried to intercept and capture the French convoy but captured only two ships. The British had even less success on land. The army advancing on Lake Champlain fought the French near Lake George, capturing Dieskau, but decided to abandon the campaign against Fort Saint-Frédéric. Instead, they strengthened their position at the opposite side of the lake, where they built Fort William Henry. The proposed assault on Niagara collapsed due to supply problems and heavy desertion, and Braddock's army was destroyed by a small detachment of French soldiers and Indigenous warriors. However, the British had some success in Acadia, capturing Fort Beauséjour with its small garrison in 1755. The Acadian settlers were then deported, as the British viewed them as potential rebels (see History of Acadia).

    Early French Victories

    In April 1756, more French troops and a new commander, the marquis de Montcalm, arrived in Canada. The next month Britain declared war. The strategy of the French commander-in-chief and governor general, the marquis de Vaudreuil, was to keep the British on the defensive and as far from Canadian settlements as possible. Montcalm captured the British Fort Oswego on Lake Ontario in 1756 and thereby gained control of the Great Lakes. In August 1757, the French also captured Fort William Henry on Lake George.

    At the same time, Canadian and Indigenous war parties attacked American frontier settlements. The Americans could not cope with these attacks and Britain was forced to send over 20,000 troops to the colonies and commit most of its navy to blockading the French ports. The French plan was to use a small army, aided by the Canadians and Indigenous allies, to tie down these large British forces in the interior, thereby sparing more valuable colonies such as Guadeloupe from attack. Despite the large numbers of British regulars arriving in North America, the French government refused to send more than token troop reinforcements.

    The Tide Turns: British Victories

    In 1758, the tide of war turned against the French, with the British launching several major attacks on French posts. In July, Major-General James Abercromby, with an army of over 15,000 British and American troops, attacked Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga). They were defeated by Montcalm and a force of only 3,800 men. However, the British also launched a successful amphibious attack on Louisbourg that summer, which opened up the St. Lawrence River to British ships. In August 1758, the British destroyed Fort Frontenac [Kingston, Ontario] with its stock of supplies for the western posts. France's Indigenous allies in the Ohio region made a separate peace with the British, forcing the French to abandon Fort Duquesne.

    In 1759, the British captured Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, and mounted three campaigns against French fortifications on the mainland. Two British armies advanced on Canada while a third captured Niagara. The Royal Navy brought Major-General James Wolfe with 9,000 men to Quebec, while General Jeffery Amherst advanced up Lake Champlain, only to halt at Crown Point. Wolfe tried to lure the French into open battle throughout the summer, attacking outposts and settlements while laying siege to the city. On 13 September 1759, a British force of 4,500 men landed about 3 km upriver of Quebec. Instead of waiting for reinforcements, Montcalm decided to attack. The British inflicted a shattering defeat in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Both Wolfe and Montcalm died from wounds sustained during the battle. The city surrendered a few days later.

    Yet the British position at Quebec was weak the Royal Navy withdrew from the area before the winter, leaving the British garrison there isolated. The chevalier de Lévis took over command of the French army. The following April, he soundly defeated the British on the same battlefield (see Battle of Ste-Foy). The British retreated to Quebec, and Lévis set siege to the city. On 16 May, he had to abandon the siege when British frigates arrived in the St. Lawrence River, ending all hope of French reinforcements. The French army retired to Montreal and was forced to surrender to Amherst on 8 September 1760 (see Conquest). This freed the British forces for service elsewhere.

    (Antoine Benoist, according to Richard Short/MNBAQ/1953.110)

    British Naval Dominance

    The dominance of the British navy was a deciding factor in the outcome of the war. The navy played a crucial role in the attacks on Louisbourg and the city of Quebec, and successfully stopped French ships from reaching the colonies. It also defeated the French plan to invade Britain. France and Spain had organized a major expedition for the invasion of England, but the British naval victories at Lagos, Portugal, in August and Quiberon Bay, France, in November 1759 made this impossible.

    Final Stage

    Despite military and naval victories, the British were staggering under a colossal national debt by 1760. The war minister, William Pitt, urged the government to declare war on Spain, which made a defensive alliance with France in August 1761. But the new king, George III, wanted peace. By the end of the year, Pitt had been driven out of office.

    The war would not end, however, until 1763. Britain declared war on Spain in January 1762 and continued its operations overseas. In February and March 1762, the British took Martinique, St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent. They captured Havana from the Spanish in August, followed by Manila in October 1762.

    The Treaty of Paris 1763

    Meanwhile, the governments of Britain, France and Spain were negotiating peace terms. The first minister of the French government, the duc de Choiseul, was determined to regain the valuable sugar colonies of Martinique and Guadeloupe, and to keep a base for the Grand Banks fisheries. He also wanted Cape Breton, but had to settle for the tiny islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon as a fishing station.

    Britain agreed to return Martinique and Guadeloupe to France but secured the West Indian islands of Dominica, Tobago, St. Vincent and Grenada. Spain surrendered Florida to the British, but received part of France’s vast Louisiana territory. (See Treaty of Paris 1763.)

    France also left New France to Britain, as it was less valuable commercially than either the sugar islands of the West Indies or the fishing islands of the north Atlantic. The size and location of New France also made it an expensive colony to defend and maintain.

    In addition, Choiseul was convinced that the American colonies, which no longer needed British military protection, would soon strike out for independence. Twelve years later, the American colonies rose in revolt against Britain. Ironically, it was only with the military aid of the French that they finally gained their independence. (See American Revolution.)

    The Treaty of Paris was signed by Britain, France and Spain on 10 February 1763. The Treaty of Hubertusburg was signed on 15 February 1763 by Prussia, Austria and Saxony and ended the war in central Europe.

    Significance

    The Seven Years' War was a crucial turning point in Canadian history. With the Treaty of Paris of 1763, France formally ceded New France to the British, and largely withdrew from the continent. The Seven Years’ War therefore laid the bicultural foundations of modern Canada. However, the removal of France as a North American power gave Anglo-American colonists greater confidence, as they no longer needed the protection of the British military. This led indirectly to the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, which would further influence Canadian identity and boundaries, including the influx of Loyalists and the creation of Upper Canada and New Brunswick.

    The war also changed the relationship between Britain and Indigenous peoples living in what would become Canada. In the spring of 1763, an Indigenous confederacy under Odawa chief Obwandiyag (Pontiac) seized British military posts in the Great Lakes area. Many First Nations had allied with France during the war and protested American settlement and British policies under Jeffery Amherst. The British government wanted to secure their allegiance and loyalty and stabilize the western frontier. It therefore issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which created a vast Indigenous reserve west of the Appalachian Mountains. In addition, it stated explicitly that Indigenous people reserved all lands not ceded by or purchased from them. The Proclamation also included policies meant to assimilate the French population to British rule these were later replaced by the Quebec Act, 1774.


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    […] after 1754, leading to the dispossession and exile of the colony’s native peoples. During the Seven Years’ War, which lasted in North America from 1754 to 1760, the colony that William Penn had envisioned as […]

    […] after 1754, leading to the dispossession and exile of the colony’s native peoples. During the Seven Years’ War, which lasted in North America from 1754 to 1760, the colony that William Penn had envisioned as […]


    The Global War

    Although British troops did fight on the continent, slowly increasing in numbers, Britain had preferred to send financial support to Frederick and Hanover—subsidies larger than any before in British history—rather than fight in Europe. This was in order to send troops and ships elsewhere in the world. The British had been involved in fighting in North America since 1754, and the government under William Pitt (1708–1778) decided to further prioritize the war in America, and hit the rest of France’s imperial possessions, using their powerful navy to harass France where she was weakest. In contrast, France focused on Europe first, planning an invasion of Britain, but this possibility was ended by the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, shattering France’s remaining Atlantic naval power and their ability to reinforce America. England had effectively won the ‘French-Indian’ war in North America by 1760, but peace there had to wait until the other theaters were settled.

    In 1759 a small, opportunistic British force had seized Fort Louis on the Senegal River in Africa, acquiring plenty of valuables and suffering no casualties. Consequently, by the end of the year, all French trading posts in Africa were British. Britain then attacked France in the West Indies, taking the rich island of Guadeloupe and moving on to other wealth producing targets. The British East India Company retaliated against a local leader and attacked French interests in India and, aided greatly by the British Royal Navy dominating the Indian Ocean as it had the Atlantic, ejected France from the area. By war’s end, Britain had a vastly increased Empire, France a much reduced one. Britain and Spain also went to war, and Britain shocked their new enemy by seizing the hub of their Caribbean operations, Havana, and a quarter of the Spanish Navy.


    Book Review: Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

    Fred Anderson has written as good a history of the Seven Years’ War in North America, commonly called the French and Indian War, as one can find. At some 835 pages excluding the index, it is not, however, for the light reader.

    Much of the previously published work on this extended conflict has focused on the relationship between this war and the one that followed a dozen years later, the American War for Independence. For Anderson, however, the struggle between Great Britain and France in North America can be studied as an event worthy of examination in its own right–regardless of what came after. His evaluation of the Seven Years’ War as the greatest conflict of the eighteenth century is fairly well justified.

    The book brings to mind a quote from a fine historian, Theodore Ropp, who said, “You choose the ending of a story as you select that story’s beginning.” Anderson’s observation is that many who describe the American Revolution begin the tale at the end of the Seven Years’ War, in 1763. He states that the more fruitful start date should be 1754, when relations between the American colonists and the British government were still relatively amicable. The seeds of revolt were sown during the Seven Years’ War, hence its vital importance to the American nation.

    Knopf has done its usual magic, providing a handsome, well-illustrated book that contains excellent maps. The author has included a section of contemporary drawings and artwork with American landscapes that serves to give the reader an idea of how North America appeared, or was perceived to appear, to the participants in the war.

    Battles and campaigns are well explained by Anderson but not at the expense of political decision making and diplomacy. The author, who is a professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder, provides his readers with descriptions of cultural and personal characteristics that had an impact on the outcome of the war as well.

    Finally, Anderson extends the book’s reach beyond war’s end to picture and evaluate the aftermath of the conflict including the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, and Indian troubles. That allows him to discuss some of the more contentious issues between Americans and London as well as depict how militarily overextended Britain had become in gaining the vast territories she had won during the war.

    This is a fine book, one likely to become the definitive history of the North American theater during the Seven Years’ War.


    George Washington Father of the British Empire and India?

    Thus, George Washington accidentally triggered a course of events that destroyed one British Empire in America, but created another in India. Hence, Washington influenced the creation of the world’s two largest democracies the United States and the Republic of India.

    Ironically, British efforts to finance their Indian Empire became a cause of the American Revolution. The British East India Company owned the tea that patriots dumped in the harbor at the Boston Tea Party. To explain, American merchants were angry because the East India Company was hurting their business by selling cheaper tea.

    Direct British rule succeeded the British East India Company in India. In 1877, Queen Victoria became Empress of India. Britain’s Dominion of India developed into the modern nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

    Therefore, perhaps George Washington was the indirect founder of the British Empire and the grandfather of modern India.


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