French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French colonies were situated in Canada and their trade and influence reached as far as the Mississippi River. The English colonies were located on the east coast of the Americas. The Appalachian Mountains separated both types of European colonies so there was elbow room for both. Flames began to ignite when war between the mother countries of England and France broke out. Tensions increased when trading and rivalry between two colonies increased. Soon war broke out and it became known as the French and Indian War. Both sides had advantages and disadvantages and there were many lasting effects. The British colonies began to lose in the beginning for many reasons. The colonies were disorganized and many jealousies and disputes arose among them. In addition the colonies’ governors quarreled with their assemblies. The colonies saw themselves, at the time, as trading economic colonies, not an empire or nation.
There was no need or want for a military and military organization. The British colonies were unfit to carry out an offensive war. Victory was meek for the colonies but courageous, fearless and heroic generals like Pitt, Amherst, and Wolf helped turn the tide for the British. In addition they began to attack cities instead of forts. The British colonies soon won the war with the Treaty of Paris. The French were incredible and favored victors at the beginning of the war in the Americas. They had a centralized military organization, skillful leaders who ruled with absolute authority, and soldiers inured to war. Of 10 major battles, France won a majority of them. Their location was good. Canada was fortified with vast outworks of defense in the forests, marshes and mountains. They had the help of the Indians who knew the land far better than any European.
In Europe, the tide turned for France and soon so did too in the Americas. The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. The details of the treaty provide lasting effects. French power was completely thrown off the continent. However, the French were allowed to retain several islands in the West Indies. France gave Britain all lands east of the Mississippi River allowing the number of frontiers to increase. Spain gave Britain Florida. With all these territorial gains, it paved the road for the British colonies to expand. They soon declared independence from Britain and became America. Americans soon followed “Manifest Destiny” and America is now what we see as today.