The French and Indian War (The Seven Years' War)

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How did the Seven Years' War affect the British in North America?

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As a result of the Seven Years' War, Great Britain dramatically increased its territorial presence in North America, gaining control of Canada as well as lands west to the Mississippi. In terms of national prestige and global power, the Seven Years' War was an absolute success.

However, the war itself placed a tremendous burden on the British economy, a factor which would prove critical in shaping the American Revolution. The Proclamation of 1763, which aimed to prevent hostilities with Native Americans by barring settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, created resentment among colonists. Additionally, as the British began to impose new taxes and to more stringently enforce mercantile law in the colonies, this also led to the rise of tensions between the colonials and the British government. These rising tensions would eventually culminate in the American Revolution (and the creation of the United States).

However, despite the loss of its North American colonies, Great Britain would retain control over Canada, and it would remain a significant European and global power. Indeed, if you were to look towards the history of the British Empire across the nineteenth century and even into the twentieth century, you can see that its defeat in the American Revolution would not prevent further imperial expansion worldwide.

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In North America, the Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was known as the French-and-Indian War (1754–1763). The war in North America was a continuation of a long conflict between Britain and France for supremacy in that continent. When the decisive French-and-Indian War ended, Britain became the dominant power, as France was ejected from the continent.

The decisiveness of the British victory led to friction between London and its thirteen American colonies. The colonists no longer needed British protection or support. The relationship deteriorated badly during the dozen years between the French-and-Indian War and the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783).

Britain's victory over France had been expensive, and London expected the American colonies to repay the costs. Therefore, London implemented a series of measures to collect taxes from the Americans. These taxes were bitterly resented by the colonists.

The end of the French-and-Indian War led to the end of the policy of salutary neglect, which had allowed the colonists to enjoy a great amount of autonomy. After 1763, the British sought much greater control over colonial affairs. This control was not limited to taxation of the colonists; for example, the British ordered the colonists not to settle beyond the Appalachians.

The growing tensions between London and its thirteen colonies led to the outbreak of the American Revolution.

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The French and Indian War had a profound effect on the British colonists living in North America.  The British colonists initially felt a great deal of patriotism as they helped the mother country defeat France in a major war; however, this would soon change.  Parliament, in an attempt to cut down on the defense costs of the colonists, created the Proclamation Line, which forbade colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains.  The land west of this line was meant to reward the Native Americans who had helped the British in the war.  To the many colonists who dreamed of western land, this was a terrible idea.  Also, the colonists spent decades fighting the natives in this border region—for Britain to reward them seemed ungrateful for all the help the colonists provided during the war. Additionally, British officials in the colonies saw that colonists were willing tax evaders.  Colonists would often buy goods even if they were being sold by nations who were enemies with Britain.  In many cases, the colonial tax collectors were complicit in this activity: they took bribes.  Since the Seven Years War wore heavily on the British treasury, Britain sought to make the system of taxation more fair by passing laws which tightened the tax code in the New World.  Parliament reasoned that the colonists could pay for their own defense, and, at the time, someone living in London paid far more taxes than someone living in Boston.  The colonists, living for years under salutary neglect, chafed at this newly instilled Parliamentary oversight. This is what would lead to the American Revolution about a decade after the French and Indian war ended.  

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The Seven Years’ War had a major impact on the British in North America. The portion of the Seven Years’ War in North America was called the French and Indian War.

The French and Indian War was fought between Great Britain and France. Most Native American tribes sided with the French. The British were able to win the French and Indian War as well as the Seven Years’ War. This victory had a major impact on the British.

The Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended the war. As a result of this treaty, the British got all of France’s land east of the Mississippi River, except for New Orleans. Great Britain also got some of France’s land in Canada. France was completely out of North America after this treaty was signed.

Most Native American tribes weren’t happy that Great Britain got all of this land. They believed the British would try to take away their land. There were uprisings, such as Pontiac’s Rebellion, that occurred between the British and the Native Americans. This led the British to pass the Proclamation of 1763, preventing the colonists from settling in the lands Great Britain received from France. This law was the first law that led to the growing conflict between the colonists and Great Britain that eventually led to the American Revolution.

The Seven Years’ War had a huge impact on the British and their colonies in North America.

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