What were some of the effects of the French and Indian War? How did it change relations among the European powers in North America?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The British victory in the French and Indian War (1754–1763) helped Britain expand and improve its control over North American territory, while France had to cede its claims to huge amounts of land. However, Britain's territorial gains came at considerable financial cost, and as a result, Britain tried to force its colonists to pay for its war expenses and its ongoing military presence in the colonies. Many colonists objected to these measures, especially the financial burdens that the government imposed through new taxes and tariffs. There also arose widespread opposition to the Quartering Act of 1765, which required civilian families to provide troops with housing and food.

A more lasting legacy, however, came in the form of principles of political philosophy. Although the colonists were British subjects, they had no voice in determining the national policies that affected them—colonists could not elect voting members to Parliament. Objections to taxation without representation were expressed in public demonstrations such as the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Rather than generating loyalty to the crown, the British victory in the French and Indian War heightened American awareness of their difference from those born in Britain and paved the way for the revolution that began only two decades later.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on