As the 17th century closed, a titanicstruggle was shaping up for masteryof the North American continent.The contest involved three OldWorld nations – Britain, France, andSpain – and it unavoidably swept upNative American peoples as well ascolonists.
FRANCE FINDS a FOOTHOLD in CANADALike England and Holland, France was a latecomer in the scramble for New Worldterritory, and for basically the same reasons. France was convulsed during the 1500’sby foreign wars and domestic strife, including a conflict between Roman Catholics andFrench Huguenots.
A new era dawned in 1598 when the Edict of Nantes, issued by the crown, granted limitedtoleration to the French Huguenots. The end of domestic strife allowed France to becomethe mightiest and most feared country in Europe. In 1608, a year after Jamestown, the permanent beginnings of a vast empire were established at Quebec. The leading figure was Samuel de Champlain (the “Father of New France”).
Champlain entered into friendly relations – a fateful friendship – with the nearby HuronIndian tribes. He joined them in battle against their foes, the federated Iroquois tribesof New York. Guns provided to the Huron defeated the Iroquois – France earned thelasting enmity of the Iroquois.
The government of New France was an autocratic royal regime – much more strict thanthe British colonies.Population in Catholic New France grew at a listless pace. Unlike dispossessed Englishfarmers, French farmers had little incentive to move to North America. And Huguenotswere denied a refuge in North America. And the French govt., in any case, favored itsCaribbean island colonies, rich in sugar and rum.
NEW FRANCE FANS OUTNew France did contain one valuable commodity – the beaver. Beaver pelts were prizedin Europe.
French trappers recruited Indians into the fur business. The downside for theIndians included exposure to disease, alcoholism, and the shattering effect on Indianculture from French contact.
THE CLASH of EMPIRESFrom 1688 to 1763, four bitter wars convulsed Europe and they amounted to a deathstruggle for domination in Europe as well as the New World. The first two wars pittedBritish colonials against French settlers and their Indian allies. Both France andEngland at this stage did not consider America worth the commitment of regulartroops, so primitive guerrilla warfare prevailed. Spain would eventually join the conflicton the French side. Peace terms, signed in Utrecht in 1713, rewarded the British with French Acadia (Nova Scotia), Newfoundland, and the Hudson Bay. They also won limited trading rights in Spanish America. Explain the War of Jenkins’s Ear (1739) between the British & Spaniards.
Explain the War of Austrian Succession in Europe – why were the New Englandcolonists outraged by the Treaty of 1748.
WASHINGTON INAUGURATES WAR with FRANCE What geographic area served as the flashpoint? Why was this area coveted by both the British/colonials and the French? Explain the colonial action leading to the conflict.
Contrast the French and Indian War with the three preceding ones. Identify thecombatants (Old World & New World). And describe the state of colonial unity atthe outset of hostilities.
In order to defeatthe French and The Britishcontrol N. America, offered half-the British would heartedurgently rely on assurances totheir colonial the colonists,population to fight. but they would later renege.The colonial men,although most of Both sides,them loyal to the colonists andBritish crown, were British officials,reluctant to leave were angry attheir frontier the other fromhomesteads to fight. the negotiations.They weredemandingguarantees that ifthe French and/orIndian alliesattacked thefrontier, they wouldbe allowed to return.
GLOBAL WAR and COLONIAL DISUNITYWar strategy for the colonists focused on the Albany Congress (1754). 1. Goals 2. Ben Franklin’s plan 3. The fate of Franklin’s plan (colonial v. British govt.)
BRADDOCK’S BLUNDERING and ITS AFTERMATHBritain dispatched Gen. Edward Braddock to capture Fort Duquesne. What wereBraddock’sstrengths and weaknesses going into this mission?Identify and describe the problems threatening the British war effort at thispoint in the conflict.The British launched a full-scale invasion of Canada in 1756. Why did it fail? Gen. Braddock
WILLIAM PITT – THE “ORGANIZER of VICTORY” In the hour of crisis, Britain brought forth a superlative leader, William Pitt. Pitt united the previously divided colonies by guaranteeing the colonists payments for military service & supplies. Explain Pitt’s strategy for victory in Louisbuorg (1758) and Quebec (1760).
When Montreal fell in the aftermath of the Battle of Quebec in 1760, the French flagfluttered in Canada for the last time.
Identify and describe the major provisions of the Treaty of Paris (1763). Explainthe significance of the outcome for the British and the French.
RESTLESS COLONISTSExplain the impact of the conflict on the colonials and the British regarding theirperceptions of the other and the fate of N. America. Regarding colonial unity,assess the progress made and the continuing problems that would be factors in theupcoming American Revolution.
FRENCH and INDIAN WAR POST-SCRIPT1. The elimination of the “French Menace” changes the colonial psyche.2. The Spanish and Indian menaces were now substantially reduced. The French defeat deprived the Indians of their most powerful diplomatic weapon – the ability to play-off the rival European powers against one another.3. The defeat of Ottawa chief Pontiac in 1763 convinced the British of the need to stabilize relationships with the Indians and to keep regular troops stationed in America, a measure for which they would ask the colonials to foot a portion of the bill.4. The colonials began pouring over the Appalachian Mts.5. The British issued the Proclamation of 1763 (British intention v. colonial perception)6 The stage is set for a showdown between the increasingly independent-minded colonials and thedetermined British government to restrain them.