The French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years’ War, was responsible for setting in motion a ripple of effects that ultimately led to the American Revolution. The conflict that arose between the French and the British was a result of both countries seeking to expand their territory in America. Great Britain had control over the 13 colonies and the land that led up to the Appalachian Mountains. The French, on the other hand, were in possession of terrain that started in Louisiana and reached past the Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes, ending in Canada. However, the frontiers that separated their claims from one another were not easily distinguished, one such area being the Ohio River Valley. When the French established strongholds there to secure their claim, the British sent Lieutenant Colonel George Washington to drive them back in 1754. However, their soldiers were outnumbered and they were forced to retreat.
This led the British Prime Minister to retaliate with another attack, but the French Government had been informed of their plans and turned the minor dispute into a war. The British sent General Edward Braddock to the colonies to command their forces, but he rejected possible alliances with the Indians and refused to collaborate with the authorities in the colonies. The French, on the other hand, formed alliances with the Indians since they usually respected and coexisted with them, therefore entitling the war the French and Indian War. During the next British attack, General Braddock was killed during a surprise assault when his men were unsuccessful in taking control of Fort Duquesne. Meanwhile, in Europe, the French had acquired navy victories and seized British land.
However, the British would soon take the lead and the French would decide to make peace negotiations. Unfortunately, these compromises failed because the terms the British set were unreasonable. This led the French King Louis XV to organize the Family Compact on August 15th of 1761 with his allies. The compact stated that Spain would wage war on Great Britain if the war was not resolved by May 1 of 1762. They intentionally hoped the Family Compact would convince the British to agree with carrying out peace negotiations, however, it only motivated the French to continue fighting.
This led the British Government to declare war on Spain on January 4, 1762, before the date the Spanish set had been reached. Despite the French and Spanish efforts, the British were victorious and peace was finally achieved in 1763 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty gave the British control of all land the French had claimed in America as well as military experience and the freedom to expand. Despite all the positive outcomes the British gained, a problem arose that would lead to the American Revolution between the colonies and England, who would pay for the expenses of the war.
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