French and Indian War Mini-Lecture
In 1753, the British had settled along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina. The colonies were growing richer, however it was not so in the far west. News came to the east that the French were moving into the Ohio Valley from Canada. London, England wanted to French to withdraw.
The Governor of Virginia wrote a letter to the French warning them not to settle on the land that was property of the Crown of Great Britain. George Washington was called upon to delivery the letter. In early November, Washington with a small party of horsemen left Virginia for the Ohio Valley.
Washington reached the French fort and delivered the letter to Captain Pierre. Pierre wrote a letter in response stating that the French had no intention of obeying the request. Washington tucked the letter into his pocket and ordered his men to return home.
The next year, the British needed a base along the Ohio River. However, before the British could finish the fort, 500 French soldiers and Indians forced them to leave. The French actually finished building the fort and claimed it for France.
Washington helped the defeated fort builders find a new location and build a fort call Fort Necessity. 500 French and 400 Indians attacked the fort and Washington was forced to surrender. However, the little battle at Fort Necessity began a world war. Britain sent soldiers to North America to fight that war. France made a different decision and focused their attention elsewhere.
The British fought shoulder-to-shoulder while the French and Indians fought as individuals. They spread out to take cover. The red coats of the British made for easy targets. The colonists and British soldiers did not fight the same way, which contributed to a disorganized army.
The British had the advantage of more soldiers than France and also had control of the waterways along the Canadian coast.
The French also had two advantages: the soldiers were better trained and formed alliances, or partnerships with the Native Indians.
Because it was so hard to move an army through the American wilderness, armies had to use rivers and lakes to carry supplies. More supplies could be carried by water than a wagon pulled by horses.
The decisive battle of the French and Indian War came in 1759. It took place on the Plains of Abraham in Canada. France and England made a Peace Treaty giving Canada to the British. The victory also ended the French threat to the colonies in North American. Americans and Britons shared the in the victory. The France has a common enemy had held the America and England together. It was like glue holding the colonist to their motherland England. Now that glue was gone.