AP US: The French and Indian War (1754-1763)

1763 as a Turning Point in the British-Colonial Relationship

  • Before
    • France had: Louisiana, East Canada
      • Spain had Mexico and Flordia (Mexico extends beyond Rio Grande and borders Louisiana
      • British had East Coast of now-US)
      • France, Spain, Britain had been warring for years, and bring this hatred to the New World
      • British wanted to build stable territories, then expand West
      • French built forts, trading posts - not permanent
    • Both French and British want Ohio Valley
      • French build forts to hold Ohio, stop British
      • British send colonists to get rid of French
        • Lt. Colonel George Washington, age 22
        • 1754 - attacks French and is forced to retreat to Fort Necessity, where he loses badly
        • French Fort Duquesne manned by French and Shawnee
        • starts French and Indian War

Albany Plan of Union (1754)

  • colonists lose to French, and British encourage colonists to sit down with Iroquois and keep friendship and control
  • Ben Franklin looks for representatives from all colonies (New England, NY, MD, PA)
    • wants to work out an alliance against the French
    • first time the colonies try to work together
    • representatives agree to a plan
      • diplomatic relations with tribes
      • gain control of "public territory", that is, territory not owned by colonies
      • raise an army outside of each colony's militia
      • tax colonial citizens to fund defence
    • colonies reject plan - takes away colonial control
    • the Albany meeting fails - Iroquois break from British and threaten to trade with French
    • but it does lay a foundation for the future

Britain Enters the War

  • 1755 - Britain decides to eliminate French presence in North America
  • this will result in some of the worst British defeats up to this time
  • war is not yet officially declared
  • colonists have failed (Washington), so need to send regulars
    • General Braddock - wants to evict the French from the Ohio Valley and Canada
      • attacks Ohio Valley, Mohawk Valley, Acadia (Nova Scotia)
      • killed 10 miles from Ft. Duquense by 1500 French and Indian forces
      • he fails miserably
      • his only success is driving the "cajuns" (French from Acadia) to Louisiana
  • 1756 - War officially declared - the "official" French and Indian War begins
    • British rely on colonists for help
    • Colonist-British tensions
      • Differences in military theory
        • Colonists
          • Indian-style guerilla tactics
          • Colonial militias under their own captains
          • No military deference or protocols
          • Resistance to taxes - this will be the area of most conflict
          • Casual, non-professionals
        • British soldiers
          • March in formation, use bayonet charges
          • British officers want to take charge of colonists
          • Drills, tough discipline
          • Colonists should pay for their own defence
          • "Prima Donna" British officers - bring servants, tea, fancy clothes, etc.
  • British are defeated every time for the first several years
  • 1757 - William Pitt becomes Foreign Minister
    • young, "Great Commoner", "Organiser of Victory"
    • replace old with young generals
    • understood colonial concerns and offers compromises
      • colonial loyalty will be reimbursed for costs by British government
      • Lord Loudon, current Prime Minister, is removed
      • colonial morale begins to increase by 1758
    • will have so much success that the French sue for peace

1763 - Treaty of Paris

  • France loses everything
    • Canada, India, lands east of Mississippi
    • has two sugar islands left, that's it
  • Spain
    • gets French lands west of the Mississippi
    • get New Orleans
    • lose Florida to British
  • England
    • gets all French lands in Canada
    • exclusive right to Caribbean slave trade
    • commercial dominance in India
  • North America in 1763
    • Canada and East of Mississippi River = British
    • Louisiana and Mexico = Spanish
    • Two fishing villages in Newfoundland = French

Effects of war on Britain

  • increases colonial empire (doubles size)
  • how to govern?
  • previously = didn't care = "salutary neglect"
  • increase English debt
    • only way to get money is to tax
  • need to govern colonies and stay strong in Europe
  • British contempt for colonists creates bitter feelings
    • colonists continue to smuggle goods, etc.
  • So, Britain feels she needs a major reorganisation of her American Empire
    • want more control

Effects of war on colonists

  • United them against a common enemy for the first time
  • feel that they did a good job helping Britain
    • Britain thinks they were useless
  • Begin to socialise with other colonists
    • talk about common values
  • bitter feelings towards British - we don't need them!

Aftermath - Tensions on the Frontier

  • 1763 - Pontiac's Rebellion
    • tipping point, causes British to take action
    • Pontiac organises several tribes to revolt (Ohio Valley region again)
    • attack British forts
    • British now have to use British troops - an expensive solution
      • also, resort to spreading smallpox-infested blankets
    • so, they issue the Proclamation of 1763
      • colonists can't cross Appalachians to go west
      • turning point for British-colonial relations
      • but, the colonists have claimed land west of the Appalachians, and fought a war to protect it
      • during this period, the laws Britain had made had been about trade, now they're imposing rules in America
      • colonists object, ignore law - they think it's about control, not prevention of Indian raids
  • Paxton Boys
    • West Pennsylvania farmers
    • chased Indians to Philadelphia, stayed there until they got promises of funding
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