Battle of the Plains of Abraham


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BC Curriculum SS 9 Chapter 8 Crossroads Textbook

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Battle of the Plains of Abraham

  1. 1. Battle of the Plains of Abraham “…two nations are at war over a few acres of snow near Canada, and they are spending on this little war more than all of Canada is worth” – Voltaire
  2. 2. Fight for North America • • • • • France, England and Spain were the main colonial powers in North America. Spain’s influence was mainly in the southern part of the continent, while France and England were adversaries in the north Many conflicts occurred between France and England in the 18th Century. Seven Years’ War is considered to be the first World War. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham was the event which led to England gaining control of what was to become Canada.
  3. 3. New France • Major towns were established along the St. Lawrence River. The largest towns were Quebec and Montreal. Quebec was the oldest, most important with the strongest defences. • The fortress of Louisbourg was built on Cape Breton Island to protect the St. Lawrence.
  4. 4. A view of Quebec showing cliffs which helped to protect the city.
  5. 5. British North America • 13 colonies established along the Atlantic coast south of New France were the most important of Britain's North American possessions. • The population and economy in these colonies was growing and they wanted to expand westward into the fertile Ohio Valley. • The French were also interested in this area to support their fur trading business. • Tensions between the two countries grew as both tried to expand their influence in the area.
  6. 6. England’s 13 North American Colonies
  7. 7. Conflict Between the French and British • • There were 4 major wars between France and England in North America. The first 3 conflicts were European wars that carried over to the colonies, while the 4th conflict started in the colonies and would result in the British gaining control of North America.
  8. 8. The Seven Years War • In North America this war was also known as the French and Indian War. It eventually became a world-wide conflict – the first true world war. • After war officially began in 1755, the Acadians, a French people which refused to swear loyalty to England, were forcibly removed from their homes. In 1758 Louisbourg was captured and the St. Lawrence became accessible to the English navy. • Main leaders in Canadian part of the conflict were the Marquis de Montcalm for the French and James Wolfe for the British.
  9. 9. Montcalm and Wolfe A French noble appointed to command French forces in Quebec in 1756. Brilliant general who suffered from tuberculosis when he commanded the English forces against Quebec.
  10. 10. British Assault of Quebec • After the capture of Louisbourg by Wolfe the British sailed down the St. Lawrence to Quebec. The British began a bombardment of the fortress. • As it was late in the year, and Quebec’s defences were strong, the French hoped that the British would be forced to leave when winter set in.
  11. 11. Path Leading to the Plains of Abraham • Wolfe, fearing winter’s approach, wanted to fight a land battle to gain control of Quebec. • Wolfe learned of a path that would allow his forces to climb the cliffs protecting Quebec. • In September 1759 his troops landed in what is now called Wolfe’s cove and they scaled the cliffs leading to the Plains of Abraham.
  12. 12. Canons shell Quebec while the British climb up to the Plains of Abraham
  13. 13. Battle of the Plains of Abraham • • • When Montcalm saw the British troops he decided to fight them before they could bring cannons closer to Quebec to shell the fortress. British troops were better trained. After a short battle the French are forced to surrender Quebec. Both Wolfe and Montcalm died because of injuries from the battle.
  14. 14. Death of Wolfe Benjamin West
  15. 15. Death of Montcalm Francois-Louis-Joseph Watteau
  16. 16. Significance of the Battle • The Battle of the Plains of Abraham resulted in the surrender of New France’s strongest fortress. After the capture of Montreal in 1760, England had control of North America. • The Seven Years War officially ended in 1763. Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris all of France’s North American colonies, except for two small islands, officially became British possessions. • Because of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham France lost its influence in North America along with wealth that it received from the fur trade.