The History of the French and Indian War and American Revolution

The French and Indian War was one of the most important wars in American history, and served as a prelude that would spark the American Revolution. The French and Indian war was fought from 1754 to 1763, and found the French and their allied Indian tribes up against the British and their colonies. The war started over the British and the French both wanting to expand their empires into the unclaimed Ohio River Valley territory in order to maximize the fur and timber trades in the area, and when the British established the Ohio Company, the French took it as a sign that the British were claiming the territory all for themselves, and sent militia and regular troops to the area. 

The Battle of Quebec was a major turning point and pivotal battle during the French and Indian War. The Battle of Quebec, also known as the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, began on June 6″, 1759 when British forces landed on Isle d’Orleans. Led by General James Wolfe, the British spent months probing Quebec’s defenses with little success, and were unsuccessful in many assaults. Wolfe decided that an attack from the Plains of Abraham, a high ground above the city, would be a more stealthy choice. The French did not anticipate an attack from this direction and were defeated in a battle that lasted only a quarter of an hour. The British victory brought an end to French power in North America. 

George Washington built his trademark leadership traits through experience and failure during the French and Indian War. Washington won the first battle of the war, launching a surprise assault on a French reconnaissance party. Expecting retaliation, Washington and his troops constructed a makeshift base they called Fort Necessity, but that was not enough to hold off the French troops and Washington was forced to surrender. Washington and his surviving troops were released on parole and allowed to return to Virginia. 

The Battle of the Wilderness at Fort Duquesne is where George Washington’s reputation for his courage and leadership would begin to flourish. Washington fell under the command of Major General Edward Braddock, whom he would base some of his leadership traits from. Braddock led an advance on Fort Duquesne, and although large in number, the advance was considered clumsy by the French. The French deployed a preemptive attack that caught Braddock and his troops by surprise. The attack was devastating for the British; of the 1,459 British and Colonial troops only 462 would return from the battle. Major General Braddock was among the mortally wounded, and with a lack of leadership, Washington would take charge and lead the retreat, saving the lives of the remaining troops. 

Even though the British would end up winning the French and Indian War, the consequences would eventually lead to the merican Revolution. The war had doubled Britain’s national deficit and their solution was to raise taxes on the colonies. The colonies now had a large group of veterans with war time experience and did not feel any obligation to help Britain pay for the costs of war. The increased tax was met with fierce resistance, and British troops were called into the colonies to enforce the taxes, building tension between the colonies and Britain that would lead into the Revolutionary War. 

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