Focus Questions

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Unit 2 Chapter Focus Questions

Chapter 6: The Duel for North America

1. “Why was the French empire ultimately so much less successful than either the Spanish or the British empires?”

France was a late player in the settling game of the New World. During the 1500s it was ravaged by wars and internal conflict, most of these were caused from the Roman Catholics at odds with the Protestant Huguenots. Also, once the colonies were created settlers did not stay, many either came home or never trekked out into the wild. There were very few reasons to travel to the colonies for the French. This is because the colonial government was under direct rule of the crown. The one gain that could be obtained by immigrating to the colonies was religious freedom. However, France would not allow the passage of the prosecuted Huguenots. The main trade was Canada’s fur; not the most profitable. Although fur was very popular in America, and had great potential to succeed. The lack of settlers and the large land area controlled by the French could not be efficiently occupied or fortified. France was suffering from many struggles back in Europe yet the insufficient number of settlers prohibited the French from maintaining their land through the wars (the French and Indian war) and conflicts.

2. “If France instead of Britain had won the duel for North America, would the 13 colonies ever have become independent of Britain, or would they have been forced to stay within the empire for protection against France? Would Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans now be cities in Canada rather than in the United States?”

If France had won North America, then I still believe that the United States would become independent. The French and Indian war would have affected the greatly. They would have still been hurt economically from the French and Indian war, and by losing, they could have been damaged in many more ways. Britain would force even more taxes upon the colonies because a defeat would likely cost more. However, if France would have attacked the colonies, the colonists would be preoccupied with defending themselves. Afterwards, although, I believe that the colonies would rebel eventually, because Britain would mistreat them more. Historically, France was the weakest of the world powers. Some islands and Québec speak French. While over 20 speak Spanish and more than that speak English. If France had won North America from the British, they wouldn’t keep it for long because another “bully” nation, like Spain, or Germany could have risen up and taken it like candy from the French.

3. “From Britain’s perspective, were stationing soldiers in the New World permanently and issuing the Proclamation of 1763 good colonial policies? What problems were these policies trying to address? How else might have Britain solved those problems while limiting colonial contempt?”

Yes, Britain’s concern of Indian uprising outweighed the expansion of the colonies. Pontiac's Uprising, which began in May of 1763, took the lives of hundreds of colonists and British soldiers as Ottawa leader Pontiac and various other tribes attempted to drive the English out of the Great Lake Region. Finally, the English subdued the Indian uprising by distributing blankets infected with smallpox. A cheap tactic if you would ask me. The Proclamation of 1763 and the posting of soldiers were placed into effect to keep the colonists and the Indians separate. Likely, the act was put in place to protect the colonists, and not to confine them. The main purpose of the Proclamation Line was to delay colonial expansion into the West while Britain stabilized relations with Natives through monetary compensation and the return of land. The other choice was allowing the colonists to have what they want and get massacred as they moved west. Britain could have done a better job with keeping the colonist happy. One flaw was that the colonists that were already west lost their...
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