French & Indian War In October of 1753, the Governor of Virginia demanded that the French leave the Ohio River Valley in a message delivered by George Washington. The French refused to leave. In May of the next year, the governor ordered Washington to build a fort on the Ohio River. When Washington and his troops arrived, they were surprised to find that the French had already built a strong, armed fort. Washington had his troops quickly throw together “Fort Necessity” before they attacked the unsuspecting French soldiers who were camped outside of the French fort. Ten French soldiers were killed, and twenty-two others were taken hostage.
In July, the French retaliated with an attack that sent Washington and his troops back to Virginia. The British, sensing the coming troubles, attempted to create alliances with the Iroquois. The Iroquois, however, chose to form an alliance with the French because they had a stronger military and more established trading partnerships. The Native Americans also respected the way the French used the land they had claimed. The British, knowing they needed more military support, held the Albany Congress, where Benjamin Franklin proposed his ideas for a stronger unity between the British and the colonies. He suggested the “Join or Die” slogan, but this was not taken very seriously among the colonists. North Carolina did send a tax to be used for defense and 450 troops to help fight.
George Washington was chosen to lead the colonial troops. English General Braddock anticipated a European-style war, where troops marched to the battlefield to fight. On July 9, 1755, the French and Indians staged a surprise attack. Braddock’s English soldiers were killed because marching soldiers are an easy target. Washington used the “frontier –style” of fighting, which was more successful against the French and Iroquois.
In 1757, North Carolina built Ft. Dobbs. This fort was used as a jumping off point to attack Ft. Duquesne. General Waddell and his troops used disguises to launch a surprise attack. Waddell defeated the French and gained control of Ft. Duquesne, (later renamed Ft. Pitt).
The French & Indian War was part of a larger series of conflicts between major European powers. In 1759, the British captured the French settlement of Quebec. Throughout the 1760’s, the British continued heavy fighting with the Native Americans. In November of 1763, the Treaty of Paris was signed to end the war. As a result, the British gained control of Canada and the Ohio River Valley, along with a huge war debt. The French & Indian War was one of the main causes of the American Revolution.
Directions:Use complete sentences to answer the following questions.
In 1753, Great Britain was still in control of the 13 colonies. Why do you think the colonists and Great Britain would want the French to leave the Ohio River Valley?
Why did the Iroquois Indians side with the French rather than Washington and Great Britain?