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The conflicts between Britain and France for control of North America was the French and Indian War.
The Ohio company, an association of land speculators based in Virginia, encouraged the British excursions. The company had received a grant of 500,000 acres from the British king and wanted to move traders and settlers into this interior region. In 1753 Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia, who was also a leading member of the Ohio Company, dispatched 21-year-old George Washington on his first military mission. Washington carried a message to the French, warning them to leave the region. In the following year Governor Dinwiddie ordered the construction of a fort at the forks of the Ohio, later the site of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These developments convinced the French governor-general of Canada of the need to dominate the Ohio Valley militarily in order to protect France's strategic interests in the American interior. The French immediately reinforced their existing forts south of Lake Erie and expelled the British from the forks of the Ohio. At that strategic site, they built a new military post, Fort Duquesne, and established firm title to the region. The French government realized that not only were the profits of the fur trade at stake, but also possession of the vast Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. The French gathered more troops and quickly laid siege to this small fort, forcing Washington and his troops to surrender on July 4, 1754. The French then sent Washington and his troops back to Virginia. The French and Indian War had begun.
The British Board of Trade had anticipated the outbreak of war, and only weeks before had urged the colonial governors to seek an alliance with the Iroquois Confederacy, often referred to as the Six Nations. In June 1754 delegates from seven colonies met with 150 Iroquois leaders in Albany, New York. Some members of the Iroquois Confederacy already in alliances with the British colonies complained of poor treatment. The Native Americans also protested that the British governor of Virginia as well as the French governor-general of Canada had attempted to seize their lands. An important topic was a plan of union developed by Benjamin Franklin. The Albany Plan, as it became known, proposed a single institution to govern all of the British colonies in America. Under the plan, each colony would send delegates to an American continental assembly, presided over by a British governor-general. This council would assume responsibility for the western affairs of the colonies, including trade, Native American policy, and defense. The Albany Plan was never implemented because the British government feared the consequences of convening a great American assembly, and individual colonial assemblies refused to support the proposal because they wanted to preserve their autonomy .The British had no desire to begin a war in America. The last conflict with France, which ended in 1748, had depleted the British treasury, and Parliament refused to impose new taxes. But British leaders, such as William Pitt, 1st earl of Chatham, who were intent on expanding British influence, demanded action. As a result, Britain dispatched two regiments of troops, under Sir Edward Braddock, to America. Eventually, however, many more troops were n
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