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History Research Guide - French and Indian War: A Little Background

A guide on the different topics, available books, journals, and other ways you can research the French and Indian War.

George Washington in the French and Indian War

George Washington as Captain in the French and Indian War
George Washington as Captain in the French and Indian War as Painted by by Junius Brutus Stearns

The French and Indian War

The French and Indian War was fought between the French, British, and Native Americans. Though it officially started in 1756, hostilities began in 1754 when George Washington ambushed a small French detachment in the Ohio Valley. The French and Indian War is part of the Seven Years War which was fought in Europe. Britain, determined to conquer the French holdings in North America, sent a large number of troops to the Americas. France, determined to keep its holdings in the West Indies did not have troops to spare for North America and relied on their Native American allies.

From 1756-1757, the French, well versed in the art of guerrilla warfare, were winning against the British. The tide turned after 1757, especially after 1759 when James Wolfe defeated the army of Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham, resulting in a French defeat. The treaty of Paris was signed in 1763 granting Great Britain the land of New France.

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