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The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: General History and Description >> Colonial Period, 1607-1775
French and Indian War, 1754-1763

the last and most important conflict over French and British possessions in North America

Unlike the three previous wars (King William's War, Queen Anne's War, King George's War), which began in Europe and then spread to America, this struggle broke out first in America. Its European counterpart, the Seven Years' War, began two years later, in 1756.

Territorial rivalries had become more intense as British and French settlements expanded over the years. Disputes over control of Acadia, the Great Lakes region, the land around lakes George and Champlain, and, most important, the vast area between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River provided the fuel for the war. By the time it was over France's vast colonial empire in North America had been dramatically reduced, while Britain gained control over most French possessions east of the Mississippi River, as well as Spanish Florida. The French and Indian War also brought George Washington to the attention of his countrymen, thereby setting the stage for his subsequent command of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

map of major 'arena' of the French and Indian War

Important Dates and Events

1754 A small force of Virginia troops led by George Washington was ambushed and defeated by French troops near Fort Duquesne.
1755 General Edward Braddock was killed at the Battle of the Monongahela.
1756 The Marquis de Montcalm took over leadership of the French forces.
1756 French forces took Fort Oswego.
1757 French forces took Fort William Henry.
1758 British forces captured Fort Louisbourg.
1758 British forces captured Fort Frontenac.
1758 British forces captured Fort Duquesne.
Jul 1759 British forces took Fort Niagara.
Jul 1759 British forces took Fort Ticonderoga
Jul 1759 British forces took Crown Point.
Sep 1759 British forces led by General James Wolfe captured Quebec.
1760 British forces led by General Jeffery Amherst captured Montreal.
1763 The Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the war.

SEE ALSO
George Washington
Battle of the Monongahela

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The Robinson Library >> American History >> United States: General History and Description >> Colonial Period, 1607-1775