Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, emboldened American colonists, having shared in the war’s glorious victories, now saw themselves as equal “partners in empire.” They were wrong. When Parliament decided to tax the colonies to cover the costs of victory, celebrations of British patriotism became cries of protest, and the seeds of the American Revolution were sown. Nor were the colonists the only ones to revolt. Deprived of their French allies, disgruntled Indian tribes rose up as well, launching Pontiac’s Rebellion, a coordinated campaign across the Western frontier that fostered both widespread panic and bloody British retaliation.
In fact, the Indians were probably the greatest losers of the French and Indian War. Anderson suggests that it encouraged Americans to hate Indians “without reserve or distinction,” opening the door to their eventual destruction or subjugation. He also hints that the Indians were at least partly responsible for their own downfall. For more than a decade, he shows, they had been guilty of corruption, duplicity and imperial aggression, often against each other, and just as often against British settlers, many of whom were ruthlessly killed or abducted. The men were frequently sold to the French into a condition of virtual enslavement; the women and children were retained for the rest of their lives. But whatever the reasons may have been, Anderson writes, in the end the Indians found themselves marginalized and “written out” of the American narrative.
In this little primer about a little-studied conflict, Anderson, a meticulous historian, writes with intelligence and vigor. He has given us a rich, cautionary tale about the unpredictability of war – then no less than today.
What are the main points of the passage?
More on the Seven Years’ War: “The Seven Years’ War (1756-1763) involved all the great powers of Europe and saw France, Austria, Russia and Sweden on one side, and Britain, Prussia and Hanover on the other. Michael Ball, curator of Britain’s National Army Museum, says the Seven Years’ war could arguably be seen as the first world war, “not in the sense of the 20th Century wars, which saw entire nations mobilized for war, but in terms of geography”. “The battles affected North America, India, the Caribbean, the Philippines and large parts of central Europe," he says.