The Seven Years’ War (AKA French and Indian War) officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris by France, Great Britain and Spain on February 10, 1763.  In the early 1750s, France’s expansion into the Ohio River valley repeatedly brought the country into armed conflict with the British colonies. In 1756, the British formally declared war against France.  This war was a nine-year conflict over whether Great Britain or France, both of which had colonies in North America, would control the fertile frontier country of the Ohio River valley. Ultimately, the war escalated into a larger global conflict that drew in the two nations’ European allies and extended into their colonies in Africa and Asia. In the American theater of this war, Native nations chose to remain neutral or ally themselves with France or Britain, depending on what they thought would serve their interests and ensure their survival.

Early in the war, Brittan suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the French and their broad network of Native American alliances. However, in 1757, British Prime Minister William Pitt (the older) recognized the potential of imperial expansion that would come out of victory against the French and borrowed heavily to fund an expanded war effort. Pitt financed Prussia’s struggle against France and her allies in Europe and reimbursed the colonies for the raising of armies in North America. By 1760, the French had been expelled from Canada, and by 1763 all of France’s allies in Europe had either made a separate peace with Prussia or had been defeated. In addition, Spanish attempts to aid France in the Americas had failed, and France also suffered defeats against British forces in India.

The Seven Years’ War ended with the signing of the treaties of Hubertusburg and Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south.

This British victory came at a serious financial cost to the empire.  To recoup some of the massive debt left over from the war with France, Parliament passed laws such as the Stamp Act, which for the first time taxed a wide range of transactions in the colonies.  These taxes heavily contributed to the motivation for rebellion and eventually the American War of Independence. French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American War of Independence on the side of the United States.

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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