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During the 18th century there was a fierce competition between the British and the French colonial empires which ultimately led to The Seven Years War. The final result of the conflict favored the English who, nonetheless, were forced to make appeal to the force of the American colonies in order to defeat the French. Following such an action, the opponents of the British rule over the American territories would later on recall and use in supporting the cause of independence the aid the Americans provided the British in tackling the French threat.
The British considered the Americans as being the closest political ally and colonial region. Moreover, the historical context determined such an approach. This special treatment protected the American colonies from any external and foreign threat; in return, the British sought to maintain a preferential trade connection with the American colonies who were, without a doubt, one of the most successful achievements of the British imperial phenomenon.
On the other hand, from the American perspective, few were those who would have argued against a tight relationship inside the British Empire. The colonies enjoyed a state of prosperity through the special system of trade relations which made the basis of the economic mechanism of the empire.
The Seven Years War represented a trying moment in the history of the relations between the American colonies and the British. Every colony, throughout the war was forced to offer assistance to the fighting troops; consequently, the U.S. did back Britain in its quest for victory against the French, who retained parts of the American colonies.
The war, as stated, started between the British and the French in the 1750s. given the fact that both British and French occupied parts of the U.S. It was clear that the European war would eventually move in the colonial areas. However, between the two large fronts, native tribes played a very important role as they represented an additional force for each of the sides.
The war started in 1754 and ended in 1763. However by the time the war started, the French had clearly set up a steady and confident relation with the Indian tribes in the colonies. Through their particular colonization process, the French had the support of many of the Indian tribes.. It had this impact because the French had a more inclusive colonial policy which offered them a certain leverage over the British as the colonial powers were often using the native Indians as secondary tools in their fight over territory. In this sense, the constant disputes between the French and the English represent a relevant example for the way in which local affairs are mingled together with international disputes and, at the same time, they point out the fact that the contacts with the natives were strategically created by both sides in order to be used in a more important battle between the two colonial powers.
The French and Indian war resulted from the increased desires of the two sides to expand. However, taking into account the fact that either the British or the French had occupied all the territories, it was considered that the only solution to solve both the issue concerning the two powers, as well as the tensions between the rivaling tribes was armed confrontation.
One of the major concerns of the two sides, the French and the British revolved around the issue of controlling the Indian tribes. In this sense, in order to prevent the British trade with the Algonquin Indians, the policy was that the trading points in Niagara for instance had to always be well catered for in order for the French to better control the trade with the Indians and force them not to trade with the British. Thus, it was clear that although there was a certain sense of trust among the French in regard to the Indians, they were determined to keep the monopoly of the fur trade and their relations with the Indians.
The war in North America started as the French troops claimed control over the Ohio River after controlling the Mississippi. This situation was unacceptable for the British who in 1764 sent George Washington to regain control over the territory in Fort Duquesne. This first event of the war marked the beginning of a seven-year war with numerous battles over strategic points such as the capturing of Fort Duquesne.
One of the most important wins of the British came as they succeeded in capturing Quebec and Montreal, the main power points of the French occupation in North America. After years of battle, with Indian allies, the French surrendered and signed the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
The most important aspects of the Treaty of Paris in 1763 acknowledged the power of the British Empire as the leading colonial power in the world. After the signature of the Treaty, the British held possessions from India and Africa to North America. The French kept New Orleans but ceded its territories in Canada and North America.
The French Indian War is significant for the eventual outcomes it provided. Indeed the battles on the fields were crucial for naming the victorious power. However, the repercussions the victory of the British had proved more important. From the British point-of-view the victory had little to do with the American intervention. It was argued that the expenses for the respective actions would have to be supported by the colonies themselves. This conflict of ideas degenerated and was soon transformed into a financial issue.
Although the victory was clear in favor of the British Empire, the American colonies were forced to suffer the consequences of the war. Therefore, what first started as a European war ended up in being one of the most important events in the history of the U.S.
Following the enormous costs of the war with the French, the British considered the colonies to be the most important source of income because no effort was spared by the British to defeat its long time continental enemy. When the British Parliament recognized the fact that the empire had lost too much money as a result of the war, it decided to test the allegiance of the colonies by applying all sorts of additional taxes such as the Sugar Act or the Stamp Act, along with an increase in the way in which taxes were actually gathered. In this way, the British tried to increase the amount of money by putting additional pressure on the colonies as well as increasing the efficiency of tax levying.
Another important change is the way in which the British tended to view the colonies as morally indebted to the Empire and the British. Thus, the English were truly and morally justified to request such a financial effort from the part of the colonies to help to the reconstruction of the empire.
As a natural consequence of the fact that the British Empire was in great need of financial assistance from the American colonies was the maintenance of the claim for full subordination of the colonies. Thus, as the revolutionary desires came to be more and more visible at the level of the society, the British were determined to follow on the same path as the prewar era and to view the American colonies as essential in the structure of the empire.
The Seven Years War had a deep and precise impact on the future of the American colonies. As much as the war was important to the colonies, the aftermath unleashed the series of actions and acts that would eventually lead to the revolution and the creation of the American state. It can be said that indeed, it was a matter of a historical framework which forced the British Parliament to exercise an increasingly powerful role on the American colonies. As a result of the War and combined with the philosophical and human rights related context, the development and outcome of the war only paved the way for the American revolution.…[continue]
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