The French and Indian War by Peggy Caravantes
The War That Made America The French & Indian War 7 Years War Part 4
Who Fought in the French and Indian War?
The war was fought primarily between the colonies of Great Britain and New France, with both sides supported by forces from Europe as well as American Indian allies. In , the war erupted into a worldwide conflict between Britain and France. The primary targets of the British colonists were the royal French forces and the various American Indian forces allied with them. The war was fought primarily along the frontiers separating New France from the British colonies from Virginia to Nova Scotia. The territory encompassed roughly the present-day states of Ohio, eastern Indiana, western Pennsylvania, and northwestern West Virginia.
Details The rich lands which lay between and to the west of the French settlements of Canada and the British colonies along the East Coast of North America were inevitably destined to become a battleground between the forces of these two European rivals. France and its colonists and Indian allies fought against Britain, its colonists and Indian allies. The war began with conflicts about land. French explorers had been the first Europeans in the areas around the Great Lakes and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. France had sent traders and trappers to these territories and had established trading centers there. Britain claimed the same land. When the king gave land in North America to someone, the land was considered to extend from the East Coast to the West Coast, even though no one knew where the west coast was.
A Global Conflict
The French and Indian War — pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France , each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies. At the start of the war, the French colonies had a population of roughly 60, settlers, compared with 2 million in the British colonies., At the peace conference, the British received the territories of Canada from France and Florida from Spain, opening the Mississippi Valley to westward expansion.
Many American Indians also fought in the war because their tribes either lived in the disputed areas, were allied with the tribes who lived there or were allied with either the French or the English. The French had far more American Indian allies than the English because they were more successful at converting the various tribes to Christianity and they focused more on trading than on settling North America, so the American Indians saw them as less of a threat to their land and resources. England established many colonies along the east coast of North America during the 17th and 18th century. In the midth century, Great Britain wanted to expand its colonies westward into the interior regions of the continent, particularly the Ohio River Valley where there was a lucrative fur trading industry, but was challenged by the French who occupied much of the land in the interior regions and were also looking to expand into the Ohio River Valley. Flag of Great Britain, also known as the Union Jack, was first adopted in In , fighting broke out between the British and the French in the Ohio country when British troops attempted to expel the French from the area.
Washington came away from his early ventures in the West with a conviction that the destiny of Virginia, and later of the United States itself, would be one of expansion. Washington had limited experience with Native American allies during the French and Indian War, but during his presidency declared that Native American policy was one of his top priorities. Learn more about George Washington's early military experience in this article from Mount Vernon. Though war was not formally declared until , armed conflict began in as disputes over land claims in the Ohio Valley lead to a series of frontier battles between the French and British. Both received support from various Native American tribes, though the outnumbered French became far more dependent on these allies as the war progressed. British assaults on strategic outposts such as Ticonderoga, Niagara, and Quebec in , followed by the successful siege of Montreal in September of , prompted the French surrender.