The Seven Years War:
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries saw a bunch of top-notch wars, but the Seven Years War, also called the French and Indian War, because it was the first truly global war. This significant war was subsequently the leading factor to lead into the American Revolution. The American’s referred to it as The French and Indian War. The Prussians called it The Silesian War and the Swede’s called it the Pomeranian war. In fact a historian named Winston Churchill called it “the first world war (Harrison 1965, 13).” The entire war in Europe is that Prussia and Great Britain fought France and Austria, and that the Austrian Hapsburgs wanted to win back Silesia, but which they failed to do. Although wars usually have really complicated causes and it’s very rare that we can refer to one thing that is making them inevitable, yet fortunately the Seven Years War is an exceptional event for this. So when, the Seven Years War began in seventeen fifty six and ended in seventeen sixty three. Some of the British were actually Americans and both the British and the French were supported by American Indians (Francis 1927, 7). The fighting going on in India was between India Indians, the British and the French. The French were fighting the Prussians and the British were fighting the Austrians. The war took place in Europe, the continental U.S., and the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Africa, India, but basically the world (Francis 1927, 10). As far as causes go the Seven Years War was really like most wars about economics. So mercantilism was the key economic theory of the British Empire in the 18th century (Francis 1927, 61-2). Mercantilism was basically the idea that the government should regulate the economy in order to increase national power. This meant encouraging local production through tariffs and monopolies and also trying to ensure a favorable balance of trade. Colonies were an awesome way to create this favorable trade balance because they both produce raw materials and bought back finished goods made from those raw materials. In order for it to work you always need more and more land so you can have more raw materials and more colonists to buy finished goods. By the way it’s important to understand the centrality of slavery in the colonial economy (Claiborne A. 2008, 107). The most important colonial trade goods were tobacco and sugar and both of those crops relied heavily on slave labor (Claiborne A. 2008, 138). Slaves themselves were a key trade good in the so called triangular trade between Europe, Africa and the colonies (Claiborne A. 2008, 145). As one historian put it “the growth and prosperity of the emerging society of free colonial British America….were achieved as a result of slave labor (Claiborne A. 2008, 152).” So Britain’s greatest rival in the 18th century was France. Like on paper the Spanish had a more significant empire in North America and it certainly been there longer, but there empire was really sparsely populated (Francis 1927, 94). Most of them in the St. Lawrence River valley, but the French were moving into the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys and forming alliances with American Indians there to try to dominate the fur and dear skin trades (Francis 1927, 102). So in seventeen forty nine the governor of Virginia awarded a huge land grant to something called the Ohio Company which was basically a real-estate development firm designed to benefit the governor of Virginia’s friends (Francis 1927, 120). The Native American’s and their French supporter’s thought this was bad for um because they thought they had rights to the land. So the Ohio Company asked the French to recognize their land claims and the French declined it (Francis 1927, 124). The actual fighting began when the British or more precisely British colonists led by a twenty one year old militia coronal George Washington. He tried to reject the French from the forts they were constructing in Western Pennsylvania. The...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document