Seven Years’ War

By Ellis

What caused the Seven Years’ War?
Hostility between the French and British presences in North America was forming once again in the year 1754; both forces had claimed Ohio Valley, and frequent battles occurred, which made another war inevitable. Although war had not been officially declared, the British began planning another assault on New France; the fearsome battle ahead is what would be called “The Seven Years’ War”, the war that determined whether America belongs to the British or the French after 150 years of conflict in North America. Although small skirmishes occurred near Ohio Valley before war was officially declared, the real battle began in 1756 to finally decide who controlled North America and the fur trade. Both sides also had allies for support and a separate battle in Europe with France and its allies of Austria, Sweden, Saxony, Russia, and Spain; Britain, on the other hand, was allied with Prussia and Hanover.

Who fought the Seven Years’ War?
Back in North America, British Colonies had removed the Acadians from their homes by force so they had more farmlands in their possession at the start of the war. Many Acadians returned home after a long exile, but others had moved to French Louisiana. In 1758, the French lost the fortress of Louisbourg, which was the doorway to St. Lawrence. The British soldiers were led by General James Wolfe. Although he was young and ill from tuberculosis, Wolfe was a strong and brilliant commander, and his victory at Louisbourg was possible because of his leadership skills and the British prime minister’s decision of making the control of North America a top priority while the French were distracted by the war in Europe. New France was also suffering from the constant rivalry between the Military Commander Marquis de Montcalm, and the Marquis de Vaudriuel. The bitterness between these two resulted in them cancelling each other’s orders, which had helped the British come closer to their victory. Food and supplies also fell short for New France, since the farmers were out fighting instead of harvesting crops.

Who Won the Seven Years’ War?
In 1759, British sailed down the St. Lawrence in preparation to attack Quebec City while the French were weakened. Since it was late in the year and winter was close, Montcalm hoped that that would prevent the British from attacking, but then they saw a red line of 4500 British soldiers led by Wolfe stretching across the plains, ready to attack Quebec in full force. Montcalm led the French to attack the British soldiers in a desperate attempt to defend the city, but they were outnumbered and destroyed by heavy fire from the British cannons. After the struggle, both Wolfe and Montcalm died in battle, followed by 660 British and 1200 French. Shortly after Quebec surrendered, Montreal also surrendered. In 1763, the Seven Years’ War came to an end with the Treaty of Paris; Canada was officially in British control.

“Crossroads: A Meeting of Nations” by Michael Cranny
“Life in New France” by Eric Skeoch

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