Wednesday, September 24, 2014

HUS I Notes 9-24-14

French and Indian War


The French Claim to the New world

1524 – Giovanni da Verrazano set out to discover the Northwest Passage to Asia – claimed the area of New France for the French (today Canada)

1534 – Jacques Cartier – explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence; two other voyages saw him exploring as far as the present site of Montreal; tried to establish a colony, but it failed

1603 – Samuel de Champlain – made voyages to New France

Accomplishments of Champlain

Established Quebec as the first permanent French settlement

Won the friendship of the Algonquin Natives

Explored the St. Lawrence River Valley

Other French Claims

1673 – Father Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and Joliet, a fur trader, crossed the Great Lakes and paddled partly down the Mississippi River

1681-82 – La Salle followed the same route but descended the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico; claimed the entire Mississippi Valley and called it Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV

Following the French claim to the Mississippi Valley, the French built New Orleans near the mouth of the Mississippi

New France

Settlements of Montreal and Quebec gave French control of the St. Lawrence River

New Orleans gave the French control of the Mississippi

The interior of the continent from the Appalachians to the Rockies could  be held

Wealth of New France

Easiest exploited resource of the French wilderness – furs

Trappers spent the winter in the wilderness with friendly Native tribes and then returned to Montreal with their furs to trade for goods

These trappers were single men who often intermarried with the Natives forming a bond between the French and Natives that did not exist for the English

Weakness of New France

Maps are misleading in that New France covered a lot of territory but was fundamentally weak

Part of this weakness was its reliance on the fur trade, which did not encourage settlements, but di make many wealthy

Only French settlements were established along the St. Lawrence and New Orleans on the Mississippi

Only the occasional fort or trading post existed on the interior of New France

This carefree lifestyle of the trappers prevented the establishment of settlements

British and French Power

Great Britain 

British colonies were well established by the 1750s

British colonist outnumbered the French by 23 to 1

British settlements confined to the coast

British colonies had 13 separate governments


New France united under one government

French had the support of the Natives

France in the early 1750s was the most powerful European nation

French navy competed with the British for control of the seas

English and French Conflict

Goes back to the days of when the English king controlled more of France than the French king

Fought the Hundred Years War

Fought King William’s War (1689-1697)

Fought Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713)

Fought War of Jenkin’s Ear (became King George’s War) (1739)

Fought King George’s War (1740-1748)

Fighting for: control of the seas; possession of colonies in North America

None of the wars were decisive

Why the French were alarmed

1753 – French alarmed at English colonists receiving a large grant from King George in the upper Ohio Valley – this area was considered to be part of New France by the French

French built a chain of forts connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio Valley

Here comes George!!!

The colony of Virginia considered the Ohio Valley as the property of Virginia

Governor Dinwiddie sent 21 year-old Washington to advise the French to leave

Washington had surveyed in the area

“I do not think myself obliged to obey it.“ French General Saint-Pierre

Washington arrived at the French fort and over dinner presented Governor Dinwiddie’s letter asking the French to leave the Valley

French ignored Washington’s warning and remained in the Ohio Valley

Washington returned to Williamsburg, Virginia to explain to Dinwiddie that the French were not leaving

Fort Necessity

1754 – Washington returned to the Ohio Valley but now as a major in the Virginia militia and constructed Fort Necessity a few miles south of Fort Duquesne (present site of Pittsburg, PA)

4 July 1754 – a small force of French and Indians defeated Washington at Fort Necessity

The British colonies lay open to invasion by the French or their Native allies

Thus, began the French and Indian War in North America and the Seven Years War in Europe

Albany Plan of Union

Delegates from 7 Colonies met at Albany, New York to discuss common measure of defense

Iroquois Confederation (Six Nations) occupied present central New York sent delegates as well – they would side with the British in the coming conflict

Plan of Union proposed by Benjamin Franklin stated that the British colonies in America unite for defense in a permanent union; first concept of uniting colonies who saw themselves as 13 separate colonies

Plan was rejected by the Colonies and England

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