between the European Imperialist powers of England and France. These wars
were wars over a control and expansion of their empires. The first of the
wars was King William’s War, followed by Queen Anne’s War. Then came King
George’s War and finally the biggest of the wars was the French and Indian
War. In this paper I will describe the events that led to those wars.
The first of the French and Indian wars was King William’s War (1689-
1697). In the summer of 1689, “an Iroquois raiding party struck hard at a
French settlement of Lachine near Montreal1”. The French, under a new
governor, initiated a counteroffensive against the English frontier. The
force and amount of damage they caused did much to establish a pattern of
savagery in border warfare.
The English ha suffered serious losses at Schenectady, Salmon Falls,
and Falmouth. The English had come to realize that “the heart of New
France was Quebec on the Saint Lawrence River2”, and attempted its
A land army was to advance down the Champlain Valley toward
Montreal and a fleet, commanded by Sir William Phips, was to come from
Boston to the Saint Lawrence and the up to Quebec.
“The land army failed to get within one hundred mile of Montreal3”,
enabling the French governor, the comte de Frontenac, to move troops from
Montreal to Quebec. By the time Phips arrived to Quebec, “the city was too
strongly defended to be captured4”. From then on, the English retreated
and the war was “characterized as a small scale raiding activity, against
isolated frontier settlements5”.
A series of attacks were executed against “English fur trading posts
on the Hudson Bay and on settlements in Maine and Newfoundland6”. Since
neither side was winning the war and “becoming weary of the struggle7”, a
peace was arranged at Ryswick in September 1697, ending the war
After the end of King Williams War, “the French resumed their
expansion into the region of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi
Valley8”, this made the English fear that “the whole trans-Appalachian
West would come under the French Flag9”. After the French king had
secured the Spanish throne for his grandson, the Spanish Succession broke
out in Europe in 1701. England “entered the conflict in May 1702, this
time declaring war on both France and Spain10”. Now the English colonies
had “enemies to the south and to the north11”.
From 1702 to 1704, there were various expeditions on both sides to
attack one another. In 1704, “a party of French and Indians surprised
Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing many settlers and taking others
In 1711, the “Tuscaroras Indians of North Carolina rose up
against the English, but it ended two years later with the defeat of the
By 1712, since France and Spain were “weakened by their widespread
exertions against England and were eager for peace14”. An international
agreement was reached in 1713, which was called The Treaty of Utrecht. In
it, “Spain kept Florida, but France lost Acadia to the British15”. After
this, “both the British and French resumed their competitive expansion into
the trans-Appalachian West16”.
King George’s War evolved from a “commercial rivalry between Britain
and Spain known as the War of Jenkins Ear17”.
It became King George’s
War when France entered as an ally to Spain. King George’s War didn’t
begin until 1744, “when the French mad an unsuccessful assault on Port
Royal18”. In 1745, Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts decided to
Governor Shirley appointed “William Pepperell of Maine to command a
New England army in that expedition19″. Pepperell was assisted by the
Royal Navy, which was led under the command of Sir Peter Warren20”. With
the assistance of each other, Pepperell and Warren made “Louisburg
surrender in June 1745 after a seven week siege21”.
Since in 1731, the French, “had also had an advance base at Crown
Point on Lake Champlain, sent parties of French and Indian raids to attack
frontiers of New England and New York22”. These attacks did a good
amount of damage and frightened the British colonist in the area. Since
neither side was near a victory in neither the American nor Europe, they
were in look for peace once again. The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748
“returned Louisburg to France23”. The treaty ended King George’s War,
but it didn’t put an end to the hostile feelings that had been aroused.
The French and Indian War, Seven Years War to the Europeans, was a