In the 18th century, there existed intense colonial rivalry between England, France, and Spain. This rivalry had led to a series of wars that began in Europe and spiraled all over the world. England and France had an intense rivalry, particularly in North America. This developed into an armed struggle between the two countries for the control of the Ohio River, Canada, and the Great Lakes Region by the mid-eighteenth century. In this paper, I discuss the causes of the French Indian War and the American Revolution.
The French Indian War also commonly known as The Seven Year’s War begun in 1754 and lasted for nine years (1756-1763). There were numerous causes that led to the French Indian War that pitied England and France in North America. First, there existed great supremacy competition between France and England for many decades. This rivalry led to intense competition for the control of American territory. Second, the population increase in Britain and France caused them to seek more territories and markets. These ambitions led to the struggle for territory and land in North America between the two countries. Third, the religious differences between the French and the English played role in instigating the war. The English settlers in America were used to religious freedom and were wary of being controlled by the French and Papacy. The majorities of French settlers on the other hand were Catholics and were fearful of the British, who were anti-Catholic. Fourth, the attempt in the 1750s of both English and the French to colonize the land in the Ohio River Valley. A group of English settlers moved from northern West Virginia and secured the Ohio valley for settlement reasons. At the time, the French settlers had also moved east from the Great Lakes to this region. Both the French and English settlers thought they had the right to the land in Ohio River Valley. The British forces under George Washington began marching in this region in 1754 with the aim of ousting the French from this territory. On their way to this region, the British forces met a French scouting party in Pennsylvania and massacred them. The British forces set camp at Great Meadow and constructed the fort of necessity in anticipation of the French retaliation. The French swiftly retaliated by attacking the British with over 600 men that completely outnumbered Washington’s men forcing him to surrender. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian War.
This war raged on for nine years and ended in 1763 with the English victory. France was completely expelled from the region and had to relinquish all its territories especially the whole of Canada to England. England now had a greater challenge of organizing its expanded colonial empire. The key challenges the British Empire faced were vastly increased national debt incurred during the war, newly acquired territories increased administrative costs, and resistance by the English landlords and merchants to pay higher taxes. These emergent issues made Great Britain adopt self-centered policies which fuelled the great rebellion by American colonies. They adopted colonial policies aimed at tightening control over the colonies. These policies were the main cause of rebellion by the American colonies. These policies were as follows; first, the issuance of the 1763 proclamation by the British which restricted Western settlements infuriated American colonists who felt that their freedoms were being curtailed. Second, the English parliament which had no American representation made a decision of raising money directly from America. This would have made the colonists and their representatives powerless. The colonists were determined to maintain their self-governance and vigorously resisted. Third, the British regulated trade in their interest through the mercantile policy. Last but not least, the issuance of the Stamp Act of 1765 on the colonists made them boycott all British goods.
In conclusion, the French and Indian war presented the opportunity that led to the occurrence of the American Revolution which led to the independence of the United States of America.