The French and Indian War Timeline

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 4, 2012

Time Line

1747 Ohio Company is formed
1752 French build Fort Duquesne
1755 French defeat British at Fort Duquesne
1756 French and Indian War begins

William Pitt becomes prime minister of Great Britain

French capture Fort Oswego and Fort William Henry

1758 British capture Forts Louisbourg and Frontenac
1759 British take Fort Niagara and win battle at Quebec
1760 Canada surrenders to British
1762 Treaty of Fontainebleau
1763 Treaty of Paris


The French and Indian War

Royal charters encouraged the British colonies to expand their territory west- ward. This happened gradually as birth and continued immigration increased the population. Expansion, of course, meant taking over more land—land that was already claimed by other groups. In the period before the Revolutionary War, the colonists faced two opponents in their drive westward: the Indians and the French.

Fighting the Indians was comparatively easy for a variety of reasons. First and most important, the colonists had more guns and were more ready to use them. This meant that they were generally able to dictate the terms of any fighting. Second, the two cultures did not share the same assumptions about the possession of land as private property; the Indians did not understand this point of view, and thus were unable to find an effective way to counter it. Because the Indians were highly skilled fighters, they remained a constant threat, but with no organized army, they had no chance against the colonists.

Fighting the French meant conducting a war against a similar culture whose people shared the same assumptions and the same understanding of how to seize and hold power. When both sides claimed the same land in the Ohio River Valley, Britain and France sent troops and officers across the Atlantic to conduct an all-out war. Although Colonial volunteers played a large role in the war, and Indians fought on both sides, this was fundamentally a European war, managed by European commanders.

The most important result of the French and Indian War was the deepening of mistrust between the colonies and Britain. Throughout the war, the British generals had questioned the loyalty of Colonial officers such as George Washington, ignoring the fact that all the colonists were British subjects. On their side, the colonists resented the British assumption of authority in the conduct of the war. These feelings of dislike and distrust would grow as Britain sought ways to force the colonists to help pay off the war debt.

Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:

The French and Indian War Practice Test

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