• The English and French had created rival empires in North America. The competition between these two powers often led to war
– While the French had claimed the Ohio River
Valley, the English competed with them for furs to trade.
– The fur trade led to alliances with between the
Europeans and the Native Americans.
• Because of these alliances, the Native Americans were often dragged into the wars.
• The Ohio River Valley began to attract settlers from Virginia and Pennsylvania for fur trading.
– This caused France to panic and fear that they were going to loose the area to the
– This was the main event that paved the way for the 9 year long war.
• The French sent troops into the area to expel the settlers and build forts to protect the area.
– This didn’t sit well with the governor of Virginia who sent troops in 1753 to force the French to leave.
• The Virginia militia was led by a 21 year old major named
• Washington built a small fort near to Ft.
Duquesne named Ft. Necessity.
– From there he led a surprise attack on the French who retaliated and attacked the Virginians on July
– Thus the French an Indian war had begun
• The Huron Indians sided with the
French and the Iroquois sided with the
• Benjamin Franklin suggested that all the colonies band together to defend themselves.
– This was known as the Albany Plan of
– It failed because the colonies didn’t want to give up individual power.
• By August 1759, the British controlled 6
French forts and were aiming to attack the city of Quebec
• After a surprise attack, the French surrendered Quebec in September of 1759.
– The war raged on for almost another three years in various places around the world.
– Thanks to the help of the Spanish, a treaty of signed and the Seven Years War ended in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris.
• The treaty ended almost all the French control over North
America and changed the way that the British colonies looked.
• With the pull out of the French, the British began to treat the Native Americans badly.
– They refused to give the Native Americans gifts to appease them.
• In response, the Native Americans began to attack and destroy the forts west of the Appalachian Mountains.
– This revolt was known as Pontiac’s Rebellion after one the Indian leaders.
• The British responded by giving the Native Americans smallpox-infected blankets during peace talks.
– A deadly outbreak of the disease spread among the Indians and within 3 years a peace treaty was signed.
• The British also issued the Proclamation of 1763 to protect the colonists from living west of the Appalachian
Mountains to prevent future conflict.
• The colonists were angry because they had wanted to settle in the Ohio River Valley and the British government was angry with them because they insisted on settling on Native
• The war had also given the colonists their first taste of fighting as a unit against a common enemy.
• This feeling grew in strength as the colonists began to complain against the British.
– The stage was set for the final conflict between the colonies and Britain.