Monday, July 27, 2015

French and Indian War

One cannot discuss the American Revolution until you mention the French and Indian War, or the Seven Years War from 1754 to 1763.  This moment leads to the unfair taxes (the colonists thought) that England enacts.  England protects her colonists from the French and her Native American allies.  

Under mercantilism the British colonies got free protection from England the mother country.  Which ends up being a great thing because the colonists had no military experience.  Up to this point they never had to protect themselves. So when competition and conflict arises over the Ohio River Valley the colonists were not prepared for what was about to happen.

In an AP history class you do not have to focus on military history.  So you do not need to know about specific battles.  Just what led to the conflict, and the outcome and impact.  In the New World Europeans competed and fought over land.  There was dispute over the Ohio River Valley between England and France.  So England took charge.

They sent a young militia commander by the name of George Washington to tell the French the Ohio River Valley belonged to them!  What is interesting about the French and Indian War is the appearance of our Founding Fathers.  We will also meet Benjamin Franklin.  When Washington arrived with  the message from the British the French were not happy!  They did not lay down and let the British take it.  The French fought back!  The Ohio River Valley was very fertile land, and provided land that could grow crops!  That is why both countries wanted it.

Luckily no one was hurt when the French fired at the British, but both sides went back to their headquarters and told them they were at the war!  The title of this war is confusing!  It was not the French against the Indians.  It was the French and Indians against the British.  Historically the French were kinder to the Native Americans.  So when this war erupted the Native Americans sided with the French!

The problem early on was the colonists, and their ability to unite.  So the Albany Plan was called to help unite the colonies!  Benjamin Franklin presented the Join or Die cartoon, and it did what it was intended to do.  It united the colonies, and England won!  Franklin represented the colonies as a snake.  And divided it up.  Each piece of the snaked represents a colony.  And basically says if we do not come together we will die and be defeated.  This image has made an impact and is still being used.  In 2008 P Diddy tried to get young people to vote.  His slogan was Vote or Die.

At  the end England acquired new land and war debt.  They needed a way to help pay back the deb t and be prepared for future conflicts.  This will lead directly to the Road to Revolution.

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