Early American History
Vocabulary
allies
Appalachian Mountains
French Canada
French and Indian War, 1754-1763
King George III
Key Concepts
The French and Indian War
Mississippi River
Ohio River Valley
Proclamation of 1763
taxes
Differences Divide Britain
and its Colonies
The French became upset when British settlers began arriving in the Ohio
River Valley. Both France and Britain claimed this land. In 1753, the French living in Canada began building a line of forts on land in the Ohio River Valley. The French forts were built in what is now western Pennsylvania. The French wanted to protect their land from the British. The British colonists reacted as if the French were preparing to attack. A war between the French and British colonists began.

Parliament sent its army to help the colonists fight the war with the French. In the colonies the war was called the French and Indian War. Both the French and the British colonists were helped by their Indian allies. An ally is a friend in a war. The British army and British colonists were helped by the Iroquois Indians. The French were helped by the Hurons.

With help from the British army and their Indian allies, the British colonists
defeated the French in 1763. After the war, New France became part of the British Colonies. This land included French Canada and all the lands between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River.

The British won a huge amount of land in North America from the French. But, the war had been very expensive. Keeping British soldiers in North America to protect the land they won would be even more expensive for Britain.

The people living in Britain were already paying heavy taxes. Taxes are paid by the people to the government to run the country. Parliament refused to increase taxes in England to help protect the colonies. King George III and Parliament decided the colonies should pay for part of the war. They also wanted the colonies to pay the costs for keeping British soldiers in North America to protect the colonies.

The colonists were angry with the new taxes, but they had to agree. Then
the King angered the colonists even more. King George said the colonists had to stop making settlements in and beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Any British citizens living in land that had been won from France had to leave. This order of King George is called the Proclamation of 1763. The King then reserved the land won from the French for the Native Americans. They would use this land as their "hunting grounds." King George hoped his proclamation would prevent any more costly wars between the colonists and the Indians.

The Proclamation of 1763 angered the colonists. Then the King made matters worse. The governor of each colony was given more power. Colonial governors were given the King's power to change any law made by the legislature of a colony. This law reminded the colonists they had no true right to self-government.
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Additional Information

agree - The colonies had no legal way to stop the taxes. The colonies were not allowed to send representatives to Parliament to speak for them.

allies - The French were very friendly with the Native Americans. Like the Native Americans, the French were mostly trappers, traders, and fishermen. The French didn’t clear the land to build farms and towns like the English settlers.

army - England sent General Braddock to the colonies. He hoped to push the French out of the Ohio Territory. He and George Washington tried to capture the French Fort Duquesne. They led their men against the French in straight battle formations. The French and the Indians on the other hand, hid in the woods. They wore animal skins to camouflage themselves.

began - One French Fort was Fort Duquesne. It was built where Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is today. The English claimed the fort was built on land owned by the Virginia Colony. The Virginia Governor sent young George Washington to tell the French to move out. Washington was only twenty-one years old. The French refused to leave. Washington and 150 British soldiers returned to attack the French. They attacked a French scouting party and killed ten French soldiers.

French and Indian War - The war was also fought in Europe. In Europe, the same war was known as the Seven Years War.

Indian allies - The British would never have defeated the French and the Huron Indians without the help of the Iroquois League. A rich British fur trader named William Johnson convinced the Iroquois League to support the British. William Johnson owned a chain of 30 trading posts from Detroit to Albany. He was the largest land owner in the colonies.

Iroquois Indians - The Iroquois had been enemies of the French ever since Samuel de Champlain sided against them in their battle with a Huron tribe back in 1609. The Iroquois were a league of six Indian nations. They were the most powerful Indians in Eastern North America.

lands - New Orleans and everything west of the Mississippi belonged to Spain. France gave all her western land to Spain in order to keep from the British.

protect the land - After the war, England had to protect 2 million people in the 13 colonies. She also had to take control of 60,000 French speaking people in Canada and around the Great Lakes. England also had to keep the English colonists and the Native Americans from going to war with each other.

settlements - England did not think the land west of the Appalachian Mountains was very valuable. However, it looked very good to settlers who wanted farm land of their own. Most of the land east of the mountains was taken. As new settlers arrived on the east coast, there was more pressure to settle the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains.

upset - France was very interested in keeping its fur trade with the Native Americans. English settlers and fur traders began to move into the Ohio Territory. English fur traders began paying higher prices to the Native Americans for the furs. The English fur trade caused French fur traders to loose money.

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