The Seven Years War officially started in 1756, and was the first global war (Rickard). In 1954, in North America, fighting broke out between American and Canadian colonists. Two years later, war then erupted between France and Great Britain (Seven). The war was to change the colonies of America both in language and in allies.
The Seven Years War is often referred to as the French and Indian War. This is because “the British fought the French and many of the Native Americans (also known as “Indians”) sided with France, although some did fight alongside the British” (New).
In the European war, France was “supported by Austria, Sweden, Saxony, Russia and Spain in their fight against Great Britain (Seven). In America and Asia, it was the British colonies who were challenging the French colonies. In this conflict, New France and New England were at war with one another for ownership of the continent and also for domination of the, then popular, fur trade. While unconnected, the battles concerning the two colonies were in fact linked with the conquests or losses of the Motherland (Seven).
Although the Seven Years War formally commenced in Europe in 1756, fights had broken out two years prior in Ohio Valley, America. The start of this occurred when George Washington attacked a minor French community. Following this incident, both Motherlands posted groups of soldiers out to fight. France only sent in a few troops, but Great Britain dispatched over twenty thousand soldiers to fight in America (Seven).
While the conflict was going on, American colonists found it difficult to protect themselves against the Canadian opposition, who were heavily reliant, and successful in, guerrilla warfare (Seven). New England considered it vital to annihilate New France and its French supporters, as these forces were stopping America from obtaining and inhabiting any new ground (Seven).
Eventually, France was conquered in all areas of the globe. In order to preserve the colonies which were the most lucrative, France signed a treaty in 1763 which relinquished New France, in exchange for holding onto the West Indies. This decision by France enraged the Native allies, who were, of course, partners to the Canadians. Following this, Pontiac led a reformation of some Natives and tried to carry on the war (Seven).
The war signalled the end to France’s status as a key colonial influence in the Americas. The triumphs of Great Britain had significant influences on the world. They caused India and North America to change into “English-speaking liberal democracies” (New).
Overall, the war caused Britain to be left in substantial debts. The British government consequently decided that the American colonies ought to assist with the lessening of the debt. (War). This suggestion, and the corruption that existed within the British government, set off protest from the American colonists. On 18 March 1766, the British Parliament repealed most of their requests, while still maintaining its assertion to tax the colonies (Costs).
The Seven Years War was complicated, messy and drawn-out. The effects of the war could be felt all over the word. However, the American colonies were changed forever. Relationships were also soured between groups who had previously been allies. This particular war occurred several centuries ago and, of course, there have been much larger conflicts since then. Nevertheless, every action has a reaction and, therefore, without the Seven Years War, the entire course of history since then may have been much different.
“Seven Years War.” History of War. Web. 6 June 2011.
“Seven Years War.” New World Encyclopaedia. Web. 6 June 2011.
“The Costs of Empire: the Seven Years’ War and the Stamp Act Crisis.” The British Library.
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“The Seven Years War.” Historica. Web. 6 June 2011.
“The War of the Revolution.” British Battles. Web. 6 June 2011.