Deciding the Fate of North America

The French and Indian: War Deciding the Fate of North America

In high school and college the French and Indian War was this long amorphous event in between settling the colonies and the American Revolution. It took a movie, The Patriot (not even in my top 500 movies), to give some color to the story in colonists fought in that war, found it brutal, and took tactics learned there into the fight against the British. In [book:His Excellency: George Washington|6462] this was confirmed as many of Washington’s officers earned their British commissions by fighting in this war.

The American Revolution owes much to this war. These points are all my own combining information from several books I’ve recently read.

  1. The colonists agreed to fight in this war in order to secure lands on which to settle west of the Appalachian mountains. So to set the lands aside as Indian territory (the same tribes who killed so many colonists) angered the colonists. Then to reset the lands aside for British lords was even worse.
  2. Allowing the colonists to fight trained thousands of soldiers who went unpaid for months (the regular soldiers were paid) and fractions of what was promised. The worst people to anger are the ones you have armed.
  3. England increased taxes to improve the coffers after nearly bankrupting the country to fight the French and Indian War. The taxes which the Boston Tea Party was to protest.
  4. The French lost most of their navy in fighting the French and Indian War. By the time of the American Revolution, the French navy was somewhat recovered. To throw it at an internal British conflict would have been reckless. So the French delayed supporting us until they had an idea we might actually be able to win.

Not too dry. Brings up too much rumor and legend. I got what I wanted, clearer idea of the missing decades prior to the American Revolution.

P.S. I liked the British strategy of choking the supply lines and seizing production. This is my usual approach to war games. Maybe I would be speaking British today if William Pitt had remained in power through the American Revolution?