A Short History of the French and Indian War by Fred Anderson

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The book I choose to read for history class is “A Short History of the French and Indian War” by Fred Anderson. I chose this book in the first place because I’ve never really learned much about the French and Indian War in previous history classes, and it seems like to me that it is never really discussed critically, and analyzed, and that’s exactly what this book does. This book is not only a summary of the French and Indian War, but it also goes into depth on the Native Americans role in the war, land tension, and leader struggles. Starting off, the book addresses the fact that the French and Indian war had a big impact on America, and especially on an important figure in American history; George Washington.

This war not only strengthened his skills as a leader, but also put him into the limelight with the people, which is why Washington became a very respected person. He already was popular with the people because he was the commander of the continental that led a siege against the British, the siege of Boston. It had ended successfully, so it was no doubt that he would be able to also lead the Redcoats against the French. Which is why he was selected to be a British emissary do deal with the happenings along the French frontier. As much good there is also bad because the war also highlighted his trail and errors with leadership, and how he wasn’t exactly perfect. George Washington undeniably had a lack of experience when it came to these dealings, which was evident by his actions.

During the Ohio Country march of 1754, Washington had gone against his orders, and allowed French soldiers to be imprisoned and/or killed at the mercy of his men and natives. This did not go to British favor of course, because this set rail for the whole French and Indian War. Besides the bad turnout, the results ended up in Washington’s favor. He was able to use his mistakes as a commander during the war to help better him later in the future. The book and I would like to think that if it had not been for the French and Indian war, George Washington would not have been as intelligent as he had been as a political leader for America. Besides impacting a nation in a good way, a group of people that always seem to be taken out of the story are the Native Americans, mostly known as “Indians “, as referred to a lot in the book. My book highlights and brings out Native Americans role in the French and Indian War. As stated in the book, “.

The French and Indian War undermined, and ultimately destroyed, the ability of native peoples to resist the expansion of Anglo- American settlement. Natives were often cut sort from deals between the British and the French and robbed of their land as if they didn’t have the right to own it anyway. As it is called the French and Indian war, the Indians were a major component of the war. They were used as an extra added force for either or army to use (French or British). and most of the time the battles were fought on their land. Neither side of the war could’ve really won without the Natives, and it is important to highlight that not all people treated them badly.

The natives would often have ambassadors sent out to discuss plans with the French and British, and not being completely ignorant, the two teams realized what a powerful ally that the natives could be. They populated most of the land and knew the geography of the land, which made it easier for them to use guerilla war like tactics against foes. A good and trust worthy relationship with the natives could add 500 more men to your army, which both teams knew they need. Now to get into the actual history of the French and Indian War that the book discusses. The book is divided into four parts, which are each big puzzle pieces that makes up the war. Part one, “A Country Between”, highlights the beginning of the war, starting from Washington.

George Washington and his men are suffering from horrible conditions because they very highly outnumbered by the French. Just as hope was fully lost, the Declaration of Independence was passed around to each regiment to act as a morale booster, and in fact it did. Washington urged his mean to not only fight for the British, but to think about what it could do for our freedom as well to win for the British to see our efforts. This sparked something, but unfortunately, it was not enough because at the infamous battle of Fort Necessity, the only ever battle Washington had ever surrendered. This all took place after Washington lead a successful ambush against the French, but then his army, including some natives, scalped some captives, including Jumonville, who was tomahawked. A survivor escaped and later told the French authorities at Fort Duquesne what happened, and this is when the French decided to come for Washington’s army.

And that is how Washington ended up surrendering, having to because they were surrounded by French soldiers opening fire and their trench couldn’t withstand much longer. Not only did Washington surrender to the French commander, he signed the surrender paper, which was in French and he couldn’t understand, saying that he surrenders and admits to killing Louis’s half-brother, Jumonsville. When this was sent back to the French king, the Seven Years war was set in place. As for part two, “Unlikely Allies,” this part discusses the relationships between the French, British, and Indians. During this time, the tension between the three rises, mostly with the settlers becoming more protective over their land and growing worrisome about the Indians.

Because of this, frontier tensions grow. As background information, the British and French have always been head to head with each other because Great Britain was becoming a very powerful being, and they were able to gain a large amount of territory, but much to their dismay, French was expanding their territory near the Ohio River valley, which is very close to the England colonies. This often lead to conflicts in North America, and eventually ended up making Britain declare war against France in 1756. Also tensions between England’s colonies and Britain over the colonies rights didn’t exactly help ease the war effort either. Indians, becoming more aware of the issue, decided that the tensions between Britain and France could help them gain the territory that they needed and lost ownership of.

Natives suddenly started to organize attacks against settlements and take colonial settlers as captives, and would sometimes never give them back, as a means of asserting their power. This results in two outputs, the French and British are very angered and disgusted by these acts but are somehow persuaded into seeing the Indians as a hug, but unlikeable ally. A person very important to this alliance is Andrew William Johnson, who vouched for the Indians and believed in getting rid of the culture rift between the colonial settlers and Indians. This alliance is what ended up helping one army out more than the other. Part three, “Turning the Tide”, highlights the war’s progress. As of the beginning French victories were racking up. They had a lot of Natives on their side and generally were better trained at warfare. Britain’s preferred quantity over quality, which is what gave them a setback in the beginning due to failed ambush attempts and being cornered all too quickly.

But as most wars are always the same, there is always a turning point! Britain can use good strategies against the French to secure victories, like Fort Duquesne, a major French fort. Soon losing some major forts, the French’s supply lines are cut off which makes them unable to send or receive weapons and ration, which leaves them very weakened. They also lost their major allies, the Native Americans, since the Iroquois league, a powerful Native American Confederacy, decided to decide to become only Britain’s allies, and that means that the French lose their Natives as well.

All of this puts French at horrible odds throughout the rest of the war. The final part, “Unintended Consequences,” we finally get to see the result of everyone’s actions. Because the French army is now weakened and have lost control over man of their supply forts, the British is able to enter Canada, and attack Quebec, the most powerful thing you could attack to end the French in an instant. General Wolfe for the British troops, successfully leads a surprise attack against the French soldiers at Quebec, but ends up dying, but luckily his successor can keep British power over the fort higher than the French’s, which gives a sad ending to the French’s attempts. The war is now officially over. But the British doesn’t get off as easily.

As we all know, England’s control over its colonies in America weakens by the acts they thrust upon the colonies, leaving those tensions higher than they were before the war. The Indian alliance was never repaired after the war either, because the Indians felt undercutted and still attacked colonial frontiers. Even though the end to the war should be a good thing, this war didn’t exactly make anything better for England on it’s part. Even though the book is already a short summary of the French and Indian War, I had to summarize it even further, but it never lost its meaning. They call it the war that made America because it set sail for America’s prosperity away from England. Even though it doesn’t discuss much on the topic of the colonies itself, we can predict that if this war never were to have happened, the colonies would never have gained the confidence of anger to fight against Britain’s power, and make America into what it is today.

Cite this paper

A Short History of the French and Indian War by Fred Anderson. (2021, Oct 25). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/a-short-history-of-the-french-and-indian-war-by-fred-anderson/



What is another name for the French and Indian War?
The French and Indian War is also known as the Seven Years' War.
What War Made America free?
The War of Independence made America free from British rule. The Civil War made America free from the institution of slavery.
What was the French and Indian War short summary?
The French and Indian War was a conflict between the American colonies and France. It began in 1754 and ended in 1763.
What was the name of the War that Made America?
The War that Made America is a PBS miniseries (produced by WQED Pittsburgh) about the French and Indian War , which was first aired in two parts on January 18 and 25, 2006.
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