French and Indian War
The French and Indian War took place between 1754 and 1763 in British North America and French North America. These are now the United States and Canada. The French had Native American allies and the British had other Indian allies. The war is called "the seven year war".
Causes of the War
- Both the British and the French said they owned the Ohio country. This land was between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. France wanted to unite New France, and Britain wanted to prevent that. Both wanted to control the fur trade, and expected to send settlers some day.
- Both European countries used Native American claims to the land. The British said it belonged to their Iroquois Indians, and the French said it belonged to their Hurons. Neither side asked what the people of the Ohio Country might want. The land supported the beaver pelt.
- The British 13 colonies feared control of a pope in North America. France's land was controlled by the French and the Roman Catholic Church. The Protestant British settlers saw this as a threat to their religious freedoms that they had under English law.
France built a new fort in the disputed territory and the British decided to expel them. Fighting began with the Battle of Monongahela in 1755. General Edward Braddock, the commander, died with many of his men in a failed attack against the French in what later became Pittsburgh. Militia officer George Washington led the defeated survivors home.
In the Battle of the Plains of Abraham Canada was conquered.
The fighting in North America stopped on Sept. 8, 1760 with the surrender of Montreal and all of Canada to Britain. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763. France lost all of its North American lands east of the Mississippi River. All of Canada was given to Britain except for two small islands near Newfoundland. Britain offered France the choice to give up either its Canadian land or the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, which British troops had taken during the war. France chose to keep the islands, which were valuable for their sugar plantations.
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