Research Paper on The Seven Year War: French and Indian War

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1594 Words
Date:  2022-08-08


In the past, countries often went to war as a result of various factors. Ranging from conflicted diplomatic relations, conflicts of interest, for instance, for raw materials among other reasons, nations opted to settle their differences through wars. Such dispute settling methods resulted in various skirmishes such as the first and second world wars. However, today this has changed. With civilization setting in, the dialogue has been embraced as a conflict resolution tool. This has significantly helped given that in the event of wars, innocent men, women and children ended up suffering the most for reasons that they did not understand and that were beyond their control. Wars are a menace to the nations, and no greater achievement comes from participating in them. Instead, other conflict resolution skills should be embraced and put into practice.

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The war between the French and Indians was the conflict of North America which was part of a bigger imperial war between France and Great Britain referred to as the Seven Years' War. The war that lasted in North America for seven years started after a sequence of occurrences in the upper Ohio River valley territory whose possession was claimed by both the British and French governments (Nester, 2000). Armed forces amassed by imperial powers from both sides were assembled to seize the other party's forts in the area (Baugh & Baugh, 2014). The scuffles, and predominantly an expedition orchestrated by George Washington, eventually led to the heightening of a bigger war between the two sides: Great Britain and France.

With the desire to minimize Britain's influence in the frontier, the French set up forts starting from Lake Erie to the forks of the Ohio River present-day Pittsburgh. This region was subsequently claimed by the Virginian colony. The Virginian lieutenant Robert Dinwiddie charged George Washington on an expedition to command the elimination of the forts in 1753. Washington got to Fort Le Boeuf and delivered the governors message. The fort's commander, Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, denied the legitimacy of English entitlements to the disputed region. Washington returned to Virginia and brought the French response to Governor Dinwiddie (Baugh & Baugh, 2014). The governor and the legislature decided that French refutation of Britain's wants was an act of hostility and that the French had to be driven out from the frontier forts they occupied on British claimed lands. The governor sent Captain Trent to strategically build a fort at the significant forks of the Ohio River. Captain Trent was also required to influence the local Indians not to side with the French. Washington was also promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and charged with a mission requiring the French to renounce their forts (Wicker, 1985).

While officials from both sides maneuvered their forces about, attempts were made to take favor with the local American Indians dwelling in the area particularly the Mingoes, a significantly important group that was part of the Iroquois Confederation, allied with Great Britain. However, most Indians occupying the upper Ohio Valley were worried about British colonists intruding their lands and acknowledged neither the Iroquois or British authority. Most of the locals were afraid of the French. However, they believed a French alliance was better. The locals also provided the French forces with extra men and intelligence about movements made by the British.

The French and Indian warfare started in 1754 and concluded with the signing of the "Treaty of Paris" in the year 1763 (Szabo, 2013). The fight gave Great Britain vast territorial expansions in Northern America, but disagreements over succeeding borderline procedures and paying the expenses of the war led to colonial dissatisfaction, and eventually to the American revolt.

The French-Indian warfare uprising was a result of continuing tensions in the frontier regions in North America given that both British and French imperial colonists and bureaucrats envisioned to expand their respective country's influential sphere in the borderline territories. In Northern America, the fight pitted France, their native allies and colonies against Great Britain, Anglo-American migrants and the Iroquois Confederacy that governed the larger part of upstate New York and other sections of northern Pennsylvania (Anderson, 2007). In the year 1753, before hostilities broke out, Great Britain was in control of 13 colonies extending to the Appalachian Mountains, but past this territory was New France, a vast province that was sparsely populated and spread out from Louisiana past the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes all the way to Canada.

The borderline dividing up the British and French territories was not clearly defined, and one disputed terrain was the Ohio River upper valley. The French had set up several forts in this area attempting to reinforce their entitlement to the territory. However, the colonial forces of Britain under the leadership of lieutenant colonel George Washington made an effort to eject the French in the year 1754 but were heavily outnumbered and lost to the French. When the British Prime Minister at the time Thomas Pelham-Holles, the Duke of Newcastle, heard the news of Washington's defeat, he ordered a rapid unannounced strike in retaliation (Szabo, 2013). However, he was outwitted by his opponents in the cabinet by making plans known to the public, thereby informing the French Government and intensifying a distant frontier battle into a full-scale war.

The war started badly for Britain. To begin with, General Edward Braddock was sent out by the government of Great Britain to the colonies assuming the rank of commander in chief of Britain's forces in North America. However, General Braddock alienated prospective Indian allies as well as colonial leaders who thereby failed to work in unison with him. On July of 1755 General Edward, himself passed away during a failed mission to seize the Fort Duquesne today Pittsburgh. General Braddock got fatally injured in an ambush. The North American war was a tie for the next few years.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the French achieved a significant naval conquest where they seized the British control of Minorca in the Mediterranean in the year 1756. Nevertheless, in the years following 1757, the confrontation started to go in favor of Britain. Great Britain's forces overpowered the French armies in India, then in 1759 British troops attacked and captured Canada (Baugh, & Baugh, 2014).

Having faced conquest in Northern America and a similarly weak standing in Europe, the French government tried to engage Britain in peace talks and negotiations. However, the British minister William Pitt famously known as "the elder", who was the Secretary for Southern Affairs at that time not only required the French concession of Canada but also profitable franchises that the French governance found unacceptable (Nester, 2000). After the attempted peace negotiations were unsuccessful, the Spanish King Charles III came to the aid of French King Louis XV who was his cousin. The respective representatives from both sides signed a treaty alias the Family Compact on the 15th of August 1761. The agreement terms specified that Spain was going to declare warfare on Britain if they failed to end the war before May 1762. Initially aimed to pressure Britain into an amity consensus, the treaty eventually revived France's intent to proceed with the war, consequently leading to the British governance declaring war on Spain too on January 4, 1762, following hostile infighting among King George III ministers.

In spite of facing such a challenging union, Britain's marine strength enabled them to emerge victorious against the Spaniards. Britain's armies captured the Caribbean islands of France and also the Philippines and Spanish Cuba. The hostilities ended in Europe following an unsuccessful invasion by the Spaniards in Portugal who were British allies. Come 1763, both Spanish and French diplomats started seeking to make peace amends. This resulted into; "The Treaty of Paris" in 1763 where Great Britain acquired critical territorial advances. The territories encompassed all the French colonies to the east of the Mississippi River and Spanish Florida. However, the truce gave back Cuba to Spain.

Regrettably, in future Great Britain's victory brought trouble with the American colonies that they acquired. The war was hugely expensive, and the British governance efforts to impose a tax on the colonies aimed at helping to cover the expenses ended in increases rebellion. Also, the British efforts to increase sovereign authority in their territories was unsuccessful. (Gipson, 1950). The disagreements would eventually trigger colonial revolt that ultimately developed into a fight for independence.

Although referred to as the French and Indian war, the war was mainly between the French and Great Britain aimed at each country expanding their territories in the west. The war spanned over a period of seven years with numerous alliances formed some which lasted while others did not. In the long run, some may conceive that Britain won the war, but from a different point of view, the French may be considered the real winners of this war given the agony that Great Britain came to experience later. Such expenses of war emphasize on the importance of non-conflict methods of settling disputes that not only save time but also lives such as that of General Edward Braddock.


Baugh, D., & Baugh, D. A. (2014). The Global Seven Years War 1754-1763: Britain and France in a Great Power Contest. Routledge.

Anderson, F. (2007). Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the fate of an empire in British North America, 1754-1766. Vintage.

Nester, W. R. (2000). The great frontier war: Britain, France, and the imperial struggle for North America, 1607-1755. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Wicker, E. (1985). Colonial monetary standards contrasted: Evidence from the Seven Years' War. The Journal of Economic History, 45(4), 869-884.

Szabo, F. A. (2013). The Seven Years War in Europe: 1756-1763. Routledge.

Gipson, L. H. (1950). The American revolution as an aftermath of the Great War for the Empire, 1754-1763. Political Science Quarterly, 65(1), 86-104

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