Some claim that there was a World War before World Wars 1 & 2.
The French & Indian War was part of that first world war.
How much did you learn about this war in school?
Well, you can attend the next party or family get together and share your knowledge of the French & Indian War, because I am going to give you 16 cool facts.
#1: The Name Of The World War
As I stated before, there was global war happening. It was called the Seven Years War and there was battling taking place on nearly all the continents.
The French & Indian War was just a part of the overall war.
The Seven Years War started in 1756 and ended in 1763.
The French & Indian War started in 1754 and ended in 1763.
The French & Indian War took place in North America… It primarily took place in the Northeast with the country known now as Canada being the main battle areas but it did also extend down into the Ohio Valley in the future United States of America and even reached all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.
Remember, the United States was not as of yet, so many people were trying to gain a power foothold over the land.
I wonder how many people are saying, “Duh, the French and the Indians Greg”?
Yes, they were both involved but to the largest extent, French and Indians were allies.
But there was no cut and dried system because you must remember that Indians are composed of various tribes and some were at war against each other.
The actual war was the British against the French.
Let’s look at the primary factions in the French & Indian War:
- Great Britain troops
- British America troops
- Iroquois Indian nation which included the Catawba and Cherokee. The Cherokee absolved from the Brits after 1758.
- French troops
- New France troops (French Canada)
- And the majority of Indians which included the Wabanaki Nation (Abenaki and Mi’kmaq militia), Algonquin, Wyandot, Lenape, Shawnee, Ojibwa and Ottawa.
#5: French Control Of…
When the War began, the French controlled the majority of Canada as well as the Louisiana Territory.
The main reason War was declared was because of the French trying to expand into the Ohio River valley.
#7: The British Lieutenant Colonel
In 1753, the Governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie sent a young (21 years old) Lieutenant Colonel… You may be familiar with his name…
21 year old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington was dispatched with an order that the French should vacate the Ohio River Valley.
But would they listen to this “young whippersnapper?”
#8: The First Blow
Let me first answer the question from #7… No, the French would not listen to this young British officer who warned them he would come back in force if they did not leave.
I guess these French troops did not know about the cherry tree and that George Washington was a man of his word.
Approximately 1 year later, Washington returned with troops and ambushed a French scouting party, killing 13.
So essentially, George Washington started the French & Indian War.
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#9: The Cartoon
Another famous name had a first during the French & Indian War.
Benjamin Franklin published a depiction of a chopped up, writhing snake with the caption: Join, Or Die.
Quite the marketing technique Ben!
#10: The Half-King
There was a certain man who had been sold as a slave to the Indians as a child by the French. He had risen through Indian ranks and was called the Half-King.
Half-King Tanacharison and his army traveled with Washington on the first ambush. The Half-King split the French leader’s head open with a tomahawk.
#11: Guerrilla Warfare
The British were accustomed to fighting in open ground whereas the Indians taught the French their style of warfare… Guerrilla.
It took the Brits by surprise when using camouflage, hiding in trees, under leaves and behind rocks, the French and the Indian allies would ambush companies of soldiers leading the Brits to learn how to fight against Guerrilla warfare.
#12: William Pitt
When William Pitt became Secretary of State in England, the tide changed because he allotted more weapons and other resources to the War.
#13: Spain Sided With The Underdog
When France lost the majority of Canada, the War took to other parts of the world.
And Spain joined forces with France.
Britain began to seize both French and Spanish territories…
#14: This Is Where The Term Cajun Came From
It was during this war that the French settlers of Acadia were expelled from Canada.
Acadia was the name given for French territories in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
These peaceful, Catholic, French settlers made their way to Louisiana and somehow Acadia became Cajun.
#15: It Was More Civil Than The Civil War
All right, I am playing with words having different definitions.
We all know the Civil War wasn’t very civil, but the French & Indian War had a lot of civility.
Often, when a unit was captured, they would be allowed to leave with heads held high. Sometimes even with their weapons.
It was known as The Honors of War.
When the Brits attacked Fort Louisbourg, the British leader sent pineapples to the French leader’s wife as an apology for the havoc. She, in turn, sent the British leader several bottles of champagne.
#16: Yankee Doodle Came To Town
While many people think the song Yankee Doodle came during the Revolution, truth is, it was sung by regular British soldiers about the colonists who came to fight with them.
Did you learn something new?
Personally, more attention should be given to the French & Indian War. It was a pivotal point in the founding of the United States as well as Canada.
Do you know any other facts I didn’t list here?
Just mention them in the comments section.
Thank you for visiting and be sure and share this knowledge with others.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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