French and Indian War


Thirteen Colonies are Established

1607 - 1732

Jamestown 1607 to Georgia in 1732, the Thirteen Colonies are established

The Beaver Wars

1638 - 1698

Indian wars between Iroquois (Mohawk, Onedia, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca) and the Algonquin tribes (Hurons, Ottowas, Neutrals, Miamis, Mohicans, Susquehanocks, Delawares, Eries and Algonquians). The Iroquois emerged the dominant power but both groups were severely weakened. The reasons for the war involved disputes over land. During the war, the French sided with the Algonquins and the Iroquois never forgot it nor forgave the French. Subsequently, during the French and Indian War against England, the Iroquois would side with the English.

The War of Jenkins Ear


Robert Jenkins, an English sea captain smuggled slaves in the territory that Spain controlled. Spain decided to teach him a lesson and cut off his ear. The English were enraged and declared war. Naval battles were fought off the coast of America from North Carolina to Columbia. Many colonists joined the war and helped the British. For the first time, these troops in the "New World" were referred to as "Americans" by the British and rest of the world. The war ended with nothing changed. Spain still controlled Florida, England still controlled the east coast, and France was occupying territory near Ohio and in Canada. What was clear was that the three countries couldn't coexist in America for long.

King George's War

1744 - 1748

Conflict between the French and their Indian allies and the British and their Indian allies. The war ends with no real treaty sufficient to solve disputes and end future conflicts.

George Washington attacks Frenchmen at Fort Duquesne


Washington's men get word that the French are planning to ambush him, so Washington and 40 men march all night to find the French encampment (the French contend to this day that they were just there to talk). Washington's Iroquois Indian ally, The Half King, convinces him that he needs to attack. Nobody knows who fired the first shots, but within 15 minutes, 10 Frenchmen are killed and the French commander, Jumonville, is wounded and captured. According to ethics and rules of war of the day, Washington is prepared to treat the commander with respect and get him a doctor. But the Indian Half King strikes Jumonville's head without warning, washes his hands in his brain and eats a piece of it (some Indians believed you received power from eating the brains of a fallen enemy chief). The French ultimately pushes Washington and his men back, but the conflict ignites French anger and spurs England to declare war. The Ohio territory is being claimed by both France and England and only a war will determine who is the rightful owner.

Those that say the war lasts 9 years (instead of 7) date it from this conflict.

Albany Plan of Union

July 10, 1754

The Albany Plan of Union was a plan to create a unified government for the Thirteen Colonies, suggested by Benjamin Franklin, then a senior leader (age 45) and a delegate from Pennsylvania, at the Albany Congress on July 10, 1754 in Albany, New York. This is also the birth of the first political cartoon--the "Join or Die" flag drawn by Benjamin Franklin to persuade the colonies to unite against the French and Indians.

Battle of Monongahela

July 9, 1755

900 French and Indians surround a formation of 1300 English soldiers (no Indian allies) and, because of guerrilla war tactics, the French easily defeat the English. Along with English General Braddock, 1,000 English are killed or captured compared to less than 100 French. It is a crushing defeat and a lesson in strategy of war. Those captured were either burned alive or forced to join Indian tribes (to help recover the loss of Indian life). Of the 50 women travelling with the English, only 4 return to the colonies.

England Declares War


England declares war on France. France, with her Indian allies, will fight England and her Indian allies (the Iroquois Confederacy) in a war that will last 7 years.

The French have about 60,000 colonists spread out in the form of small trading posts. The English have over 2 million spread into thirteen colonies with bustling towns.

Those that say the war lasted 7 years, date it from this declaration.

England captures Fort Louisbourg


William Pitt (of whom Pittsburgh is named after) knew that if he could cut off ports at the rivers that were sending supplies to the French, he would severely cripple the enemy. So he ordered his troops to lay siege to the French fort at Louisbourg which guarded the mouth of the St. Lawrence. After seven weeks of being cut off from food and supplies, the soldiers at Louisbuourg surrendered.

Battle of Quebec


The English win the Battle of Quebec and two French generals are killed.

Fort Niagara Falls


English soldiers and Iroquois Indians capture Fort Niagara. Canada surrenders.

End of War


This is the functional end of the war as all battles cease in 1760. A British flag is raised over Detroit.

Treaty of Paris

February, 1763

The Treaty of Paris is signed to end the French and Indian (or Seven Years) War. The war cost England around 8 million dollars and they wanted America to help pay for it. England now claims all land east of the Mississippi, Canada, Florida and some Carribbean Islands. France only retains two small islands. Since Spain helped France during the war for a short time, France gave some of the land to Spain. Spain now controls everything west of the Mississippi river which was called the Louisiana territory (France would get that back again --for awhile).

Pontiac's Rebellion

April 1763

The Indians were furious that they were expected to give allegiance to a foreign British king after their defeat in the French and Indian War. So they formed a coalition and attacked British forts in the Ohio Valley. These post-war skirmishes convinced King George that he needed to make some concessions with the Indians and it led to the Proclamation of 1763.

Proclamation of 1763

October, 1763

Americans were continuing to push west and into Indian territory. The Indians just helped us win the war, so the King made a calculated decision that would start the initial spark for rebellion--he issued the Proclamation of 1763. On paper, the proclamation seemed to be a diplomatic peace treaty with the Indians but in reality it was a tactical delay. The Proclamation drew a line down the map and said all land west of the Appalachian mountains was indian territory and all land east was American. King George knew knew it would be easier to keep their newly gained territory if they weren't constantly fighting over it with the Indians--the English needed time to gain enough strength to hold the territory. But to the Americans who had just fought seven years for the right to move there, it was a slap in the face. They weren't going to stay cooped up along the coast. They came to America for land and most of the land had already been taken to the east of the mountains. They pushed west anyway and broke the treaty between the king and the Indians.