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In the French and Indian war, what actions did William Pitt take to turn the tide of the war?

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Phillip Holland eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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William Pitt came to power under his promise to win the Seven Years War. The first years of the war did not go well as French troops used guerilla tactics and were able to call on their Indian allies. Pitt, in order to ensure greater colonial cooperation, called for more reimbursement of colonial militias. This led to greater colonial involvement in fighting the war but would also lead to the heavy debt burden which would be detrimental to the relationship between Britain and the colonies after the war. Pitt also devoted more British troops to the North American continent as well as sending able leadership. One of the reasons why the tide of war changed in the American backcountry was British generals turning to colonial Ranger units to fight France's Indian allies on their own terms.

Perhaps the greatest strategy Pitt employed was fully utilizing the British navy to cut off supplies to New France. Once France could no longer be generous with their Indian allies, the allies became less enthusiastic for the war. Britain was able to resupply its armies at will while French forces in North America had to face shortages of food and ammunition. This more than anything led to the British victory in the war.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The French and Indian War was not going well for the British prior to William Pitt.  There were severe losses being endured by the English.  Most notably, the loss suffered by well respected British General Edward Braddock helped to enhance the perception that the French were going to win.  Pitt saw the war as an opportunity for British muscle to be flexed, and an opportunity for the British to become a world power.  Pitt sought out and sent the best British Generals to send to the new world in order to commandeer the English forces to victory.  Pitt's belief that the war was winnable and a moment for the British to seize helped to inspire a wave of patriotism, largely credited to Pitt's leadership.  Pitt was able to secure the use of the navy, a technique that would spell out British dominance for quite some time.  In the end, Pitt's leadership and commitment to British victory resulted in the repelling and expelling of the French and leading to the British presence in North America as uncontested.

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