French and Indian War (1754-1763)
This war was the American phase of a world-wide conflict that pitted the empires of Great Britain and France against each other. Hostilities began on account of a territorial dispute in North America. Both the French and British national governments staked competing claims to the fertile Ohio River Valley region. Although eager to settle the potentially arable land, British colonists from Pennsylvania and Virginia faced fierce opposition from the French and their Native American allies. Tragically, many frontier settlers were slaughtered. Eventually, French and Indian attacks led to a full declaration of war in 1754. Despite the early successes of the French military, including the defeat of British General Braddock's forces at Fort Duquesne, the English soon managed to dominate the conflict. Invigorated by a brilliant minister and statesman, William Pitt, the Empire of Great Britain began its conquest of French territory. By the time a peace treaty was concluded in 1763, the French had ceded control of Canada and their entire North American holdings east of the Mississippi River to the powerful British nation. In the colonies, the war had some far-reaching consequences. Colonial inhabitants had paid a dear price. They began to view their relationship with Great Britain as less of a privilege and more of a burden.
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