What was the French and Indian War

The French and Indian war is the general term used to refer to the conflict between France and British troops in North America that lasted from 1754 to 1763. The French territories in North America were attractive to both Spain and Britain owing to the hold on the fur trade that they could exercise in case they managed to take over these regions. In the French and the Indian war, the French troops in North America were helped by the native Indians, thereby, leading to the origin of the name, ‘French and Indian war’. This war is also referred to as ‘La guerre de la Conquête’ by the French Canadians which literally means ‘The War of Conquest’.

The beginning of the dispute was with regard to the land in North America around the areas of Ohio and the Mississippi rivers. The tribes or the natives on the other hand were concerned about their personal interests and thus, favored the French mainly during this war. The immediate reason for the triggering of the war was the issue with regard to the French trading fort called Fort Duquesne. British were of the opinion that the French fort was located in their land and a troop under the leadership of George Washington tried to force the French troops put of the fort leading to the death of ten French soldiers. 

In the initial stage of the war, French troops had an upper hand though they were less in number as compared to the British troops. The reason for the victory of the French and the native troops in the ‘Battle of Duquesne’ can be attributed to the kind of warfare they adopted wherein they used the element of surprise and camouflage in their attacks. The leader of the British troops, General Edward Braddock was killed in this battle. It is worth noting that Lake Champlain and Lake George played an important role in the war as all the supplies had to reach the troops through them.

The French under the leadership of Marquis de Montcalm attacked Fort Henry and killed more than 1500 British soldiers. In retaliation, British troops attacked Fort Carillon, but failed miserably owing to the effective leadership of General Montcalm.  In 1759, French troops were defeated and Fort Carillon was taken over by the British. The end of the war was marked by the defeat of the French in Quebec and signing of the ‘Treaty of Paris’ in 1763.

France was forced to surrender the land from east coast of North America stretching up to the Mississippi river to Britain. The natives retained control over their land but were taxed heavily by the British colonists to incur for the expenses of the war.