The French and Indian War: Name: _____________

The French and Indian War: Name: _____________
“History is written by the Victors.” I heard this saying and it really made me think about how history
should be taught. Do we see historical events differently than people from other countries?
ABSOLUTELY. We will repeat the successes of history if we don’t undertand their POV (Point of View)?
No. We will repeat the mistakes we made if we don’t understand their POV? YES.
The readings below are really good because it gives us the POV of the combatants, so that we can better
understand how this was the War that made America, America.
1753
France and Great Britain vie for the Ohio Valley
French troops from Canada march south to seize and fortify the Ohio Valley. Britain protests the invasion
and claims Ohio for itself. Governor Dinwiddie sends Major George Washington to warn the French to
leave the region.
 
French POV
Trade is everything--Trade with the American Indians is the basis of France’s North American economy, and
they think British trade and settlements are encroaching on this. In order to protect the Ohio Valley for trade, the
French build forts in the Valley to try to expel British traders.
 
British POV
Land is opportunity--The British colonies in America are growing fast, and to them, land means wealth and opportunity. British settlers want to settle the Ohio Valley, and seek more farmland, in addition to lucrative trade
with the Indians.
 
Indian POV
A lifestyle to protect --The American Indians had a strong trading relationship with the French, as well as the
British. In addition to wanting to maintain their way of life in the Ohio Valley, the Indians had become dependent on European goods like weapons, rum, metal tools and cloth, and needed to protect their trade relationships.
1754
May, French and Indian War begins--Ensign de Jumonville and a third of his escort are killed by a British patrol led by George Washington and aided by Half-King, an Iroquois.
 
French POV--An act of war--Jumonville and his escort were on a diplomatic mission when Washington’s patrol
fired on them. And when Half-King killed Jumonville, the French had to respond - the British and their Indian
counterparts had murdered a French officer.
 
British POV--A naïve and ambitious young Washington--George Washington was only 22 when he led the
patrol into Pennsylvania backcountry. He was unaware of Half-King’s agenda, and when his Indian ally killed a
wounded enemy, the action called for war.
 
Indian POV--Taking advantage of a bad situation--Half-King was not fighting the war for the British - he had
his own interests to protect, as well as those of his people. He killed Jumonville to avenge his people’s humiliation at having their land agreements with the British encroached upon by the French.
 
Battle of Fort Necessity--The French and the Indians defeat the British at Fort Necessity. Washington
surrenders after losing one-third of his force.
 
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French POV--Avenging the death of Jumonville--The French and their Indian allies fought guerilla-style, firing
on the British and their small fort from the woods. Not only did they want to cement their hold at the forks of
the Ohio, but they were also seeking retribution for the death of Jumonville.
 
British POV--Washington gets his first defeat
Surrounded by the French and Indians, the British had no choice but to surrender. Washington signed a surrender document that was written in French, and mistakenly admitted to the assasination of Jumonville - embarrassing himself and the Crown.
 
Indian POV--Half-King picks his battles--Fort Necessity was just a little thing upon the meadow - there was no
way that the British would be able to make a stand against the French. Half-King and his warriors abandon the
British cause, realizing that the Crown doesn’t stand a chance.
1755
Acadians expelled from Nova Scotia--British troops, commanded by Colonel Robert Monckton, capture
Fort Beauséjour, enabling the plan to expel Acadians from Nova Scotia to begin.
 
French POV
French Catholics lose way of life--The Acadians had lived in Nova Scotia for over 100 years, but the British
emptied and burned whole villages of the French Catholics and herded them to the coast. Within three years,
10,000 Acadians were spread throughout the British colonies.
 
British POV--Ethnic cleansing in the new world--The British wanted to split up the large concentration of
French Catholics that lived in Nova Scotia. The French-speaking settlers were a threat to British domination,
and they had to extricate them to ensure their fragile foothold in Canada.
 
Braddock defeated at Battle of Monongahela, dies--British troops commanded by Major General Edward
Braddock are defeated in the Battle of the Monongahela. Braddock is mortally wounded.
 
French POV--What works in the woods--The French and Indians controlled the British objective - the land at
the forks of three rivers. Although the large British force would’ve overpowered the fort, the French moved the
battle into the woods - giving their guerilla-style warfare the clear advantage.
 
British POV--Braddock’s fatal mistake--Braddock has little respect for the Indians who could have been his
allies. He even forbids the colonial soldiers from fighting Indian-style. Thinking that a war in the Americas
would be fought like those in Europe was perhaps Braddock’s gravest mistake.
 
Indian POV--Seeking respect and solidarity--The French owed the win to their Indian counterparts. At first
hesitant, the Indians are convinced to join the ranks of the French when De Beaujeu paints his face and dons native dress as a gesture of solidarity - something Braddock would never do.
 
Stalemate at Fort William Henry--British troops commanded by William Johnson stop the French advance at Lake George. British ally Mohawk Chief Hendricks is killed.
 
French POV--A hasty retreat--Kept at bay by the British defense, the French are forced to retreat. However, the
best the British could do was secure their position - Lake George would remain the front line between the two
empires for the next four years.
 
British POV--An attempt at alliance
William Johnson and Chief Hendricks were good friends - they respected each other’s cultures. Johnson tries to
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build alliances with the American Mohawk to stop the French advance.
 
Indian POV--The cost of a white man’s war
The Iroquois don’t like prospect of spilling Indian blood for a white man’s war. Only Hendricks and 200 Mohawk agree to fight with the British. As the skirmish begins, Canadian Mohawk fighting with the French attempt to warn Hendricks’s Mohawk.
1757
French capture Fort William Henry, British massacred--The French, led by Montcalm, capture Fort
William Henry. Following the surrender, Montcalm’s actions anger his Indian allies who capture or kill
hundreds of unarmed British.
 
French POV--The “savage” threat--The French surrounded Fort William Henry, and threatened the British with
the atrocities that the Indians were capable of. Montcalm did not like the savage manner in which the Indians
made war, and arranged the terms of surrender to suit European conventions.
 
British POV--A “generous” surrender--General Monroe was surrounded by the French, and tried to arrange the
best terms of surrender possible. His forces were able to retreat with their belongings, but the generous terms of
surrender were at the expense of the Indians.
 
Indian POV--A European conspiracy?
The terms of surrender didn’t take into consideration the efforts of the Indians. Many had died fighting with the
French, and expected to return home with the spoils of war. They attacked the British as they retreated from the
fort to reclaim their spoils of war.
1758
Pitt changes colonial policy--British Secretary of State William Pitt recalls Lord Loudon and implements
cooperative policies toward colonial legislatures to receive more colonial support for the war.
 
American POV--Seeking equality as subjects
The American colonists feared the war would bankrupt their government and infringe upon their rights. They
saw themselves as full-fledged subjects of the king, but often felt like they were treated as inferiors by the
Crown. The arrival of Pitt helped win back their support.
 
British capture Fort Louisbourg, tide shifts--British capture the French fortress at Louisbourg, opening
the St. Lawrence River and the water route to Canada.
 
French POV--Losing Canada? The French are in danger of losing Canada to the British. The British and colonial forces laid siege to the fort for six weeks, and destroyed the last of France’s battleships in Canada.
 
British POV
Making headway--The tide finally turned toward the British at Fort Louisbourg, as the British finally had a firm
foothold in Canada.
 
French lose Fort Fontenac, supplies in jeopardy--British capture Fort Fontenac, effectively cutting off all
supplies to the French forts in the Ohio River Valley and further west.
 
French POV--Supplies in peril--Surprised by a sneak attack from colonial forces, the French have no choice but
to surrender. It was an extremely costly loss for the French - Fontenac was the French supply base for the entire
upper country.
 
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American POV--Proving themselves to the Crown
General Bradstreet and his soldiers - mostly colonial fighters from the north - devised a sneak attack on Fontenac in the hopes of not only rooting the French out of Canada, but also to prove to the Crown that colonial
soldiers were capable of getting the job done.
 
 
Treaty of Easton signed--The Treaty of Easton is signed with the Six Nations. The British promised no
new settlements west of the Alleghenies in return for neutrality in the war and the release of prisoners.
 
British POV--Indian support necessary to win--The British finally learned that in order to win the war, they
would have to build an alliance with the Indians. Thus, they sent diplomats to the Iroquois nations to help gain
the Indian’s support for their push toward Fort Duquesne.
 
Indian POV--Coming to terms with the British--Indians in the Ohio Valley were starving and suffering from
disease. In order to feed their people and keep their land, the Indians came to terms with the British, realizing it
may be the only way to survive, even if the British had swindled them in the past.
 
American POV--Settlers want to move west--American colonists are fighting the French and Indian War partly
for the right to settle in the disputed Ohio country. Regardless of the Treaty of Easton, settlers head to the backcountry, considering the treaty a “local agreement” that does not affect their land claims.
 
British take Fort Duquesne--French abandon Fort Duquesne and the British take control of the Forks of
the Ohio. Brigadier General John Forbes establishes a British fort, Fort Pitt.
 
French POV--Losing the three rivers--The French realize quickly that they are outnumbered by British, Indian,
and colonial forces. They destroy Fort Duquesne and retreat to Canada, giving up their pivotal stronghold at the
forks of the Ohio River.
 
British POV--Forbes accomplishes his mission
The British finally control the piece of land that Braddock failed to capture years ago - this time, without firing a
shot. By winning over the Indians, the British are on the way to building the largest empire since Roman times.
 
Indian POV--Hoping for the best--Because of the British win and the Treaty of Easton, it seemed like peace and
dominion over the land west of the Alleghenies might be in reach.
1759
French lose Fort Niagara
British, helped by Iroquois allies, defeat the French at Fort Niagara.
 
French POV--Low on needed resources--Corrupt officials are bleeding the North American war effort dry,
leaving few supplies for the soldiers and gifts for the Indians. To make matters worse, the costly war effort in
Europe is failing, and Montcalm’s pleas for reinforcements are not being met by the king.
 
British POV--Close to capturing Canada--British victories along the St. Lawrence River have finally made
France’s stronghold on Canada vulnerable, and they intend to take advantage of the opportunity by gaining the
support of the Iroquois.
 
Indian POV--War takes toll on Indians--War has taken a terrible toll on the Indians. In addition to the loss of
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loved ones and hunger, smallpox is decimating entire villages. And now, without needed gifts from the French,
the Indians will have to make peace with the British for their survival.
 
French surrender Québec, Montcalm dies--The French surrender Québec after a battle outside the city
on the Plains of Abraham. Both French commander Montcalm and the British commander Wolfe are
mortally wounded.
 French POV--A nearly impenetrable city
The French position within the city of Québec is nearly impenetrable due to the area’s steep cliffs and waterways. The French would have to be lured outside of the city in order to be engaged in a battle - exactly what
happened with Wolfe’s sneak attack.
 
British POV--Preparing a sneak attack--After surrounding the city of Québec for three months, Wolfe had to
find a way to make the city fall, or else winter would set in and his efforts would be lost. He prepares a sneak
attack on the Plains of Abraham, after shelling the city of Québec and burning 1,400 houses outside of the city
to no avail.
1760
British win Canada, war in North America ends--The British capture Montréal, ending the French and
the British conflict in North America. The fighting continues in other parts of the world for three more
years.
 
French POV--French meet defeat
After the French lost the battle of Montréal, General Amherst intends to force the French officers to turn over
their flags - but many soldiers burn their colors rather than hand them to the British as trophies.
 
British POV--Indians are subjects, not partners
Even though the Indians were extremely influential in winning the war, General Amherst despises the so-called
“savages” and intends to treat them as servants to the British masters, rather than partners in North America.
 
Indian POV--Indians tip the balance in favor of British
Once the Iroquios league broke 50 years of neutrality by aligning themselves with the British, the Crown was
able to win the war. The Six Nations helped win Montréal and Canada by acting as diplomats on behalf the
British to the Canadian Mohawk, convincing them to not aid the French.
1763
Seven Years’ War ends, Britain victorious
The Treaty of Paris ends the war between Britain and France. France gives up eastern Louisiana and
all Canadian possessions. Great Britain gives up Newfoundland fishing rights, Guadaloupe and Martininque, and Dakar.
 
Pontiac’s War begins--Ottawa Chief Pontiac unites many American Indian nations in an effort to drive
British off their land. Indian uprisings destroy settlements, burn eight British forts, and place Fort Pitt
and Fort Detroit under siege.
 
British POV--British policy unfavorable to Indians
Amherst’s policies toward the Indians were not favorable. He restricted their access to firearms, and cut back
on giving gifts to the Indians. Further infuriating the Indians, Fort Pitt is being built up in clear violation of the
Treaty of Easton.
 
Indian POV--Pontiac inspires religious war
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Pontiac uses religion to inspire the Indians to war against the British to protect their land. The Indians feel
betrayed by the changes in British policy, and wage war against the Crown by attacking forts and taking settlers
captive in the backcountry.
 
American POV--Settlers fear captivity
Once again, settlers in the backcountry fear captivity at the hands of the Indians. Some vigilantes, like the Paxton Boys, feed into rumors about Indian savagery and attack Indian villages - further fueling the war.
 
Indians defeated at Battle of Bushy Run--Colonel Henry Bouquet’s expedition to relieve Fort Pitt clashes
with and defeats Native American forces at Bushy Run. Bouquet’s forces move on to relieve Ft. Detroit
and retake Presque Isle.
 
British POV--Amherst advocates germ warfare
General Amherst was short on money and on manpower, and pressured to take care of the “savages.” In order to
squelch the Indian threat, Amherst suggested a weapon that he would never use against a European foe - giving
smallpox-infected blankets to the Indians.
 
Indian POV--Indians struggle for land
Indian villages were already being ravaged by smallpox, whether the disease was spread through Amherst’s
germ warfare or not. Additionally, it was hard to fight a war in a new North America with no French, and with
no clear European ally.
 
Proclamation of 1763 enacted--King George III signs the Proclamation of 1763, reserving land west of the
Allegheny Mountains for Indians.
 
British POV--An action to diffuse war
To help relieve tensions with the Indians and to manage the large mass of land in North America, the British
give up the Ohio valley to the Indians. However, the British are never very good at keeping their land promises.
 
Indian POV--Indians get their land - for now
The Indians finally get what they want - the land west of the Alleghenies. However, the land will always be in
jeopardy. The Crown has little respect for the Indians, and has broken its promises before.
 
American POV--Colonists want interior access
The colonists fought for access to the Ohio valley - that’s what they thought the French and Indian War was all
about. Now, the king proclaimed that the very land the colonists fought for was reserved for Indians.
1764
American colonies taxed
The British Sugar Act is amended to tax the American colonies.
 
British POV--The costs of empire building
Britain now holds nearly a half billion acres of land in North America - so much land that they need new ways
to pay for it. Citizens of England had previously been taxed for the war and the empire, but now Britain needs
to tax the colonies too.
 
American POV--Taxation without representation
Colonists had willingly paid for the war under Prime Minister Pitt because they felt that they had the same
rights as subjects in Britain. Now, colonists feel betrayed because they are being taxed without their consent something that would not happen if they lived in England.
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