American Revolution


Getting the French and Indian War out from the American Revolution’s Shadow

Most Americans like to think of the
American Revolution
as an instinctive, inevitable, and unspeakably kickass move on the part of the North American colonists. Our overwhelming patriotic sentiment creates a bubble of adulation around the event, which makes it seem more isolated within history than it ought to be. Enter the French and Indian War.

If colonial American history were a pair of proud parents, the
French and Indian War
would be the oldest sibling – maxed out on responsibility and given a minimum of recognition, while the American Revolution would be the baby of the family – adored, indulged, and equipped with a lot of great hand-me-downs. To put it plainly, if it weren’t for the French and Indian War, the American Revolution would just be a bunch of clueless colonists getting slaughtered in the bush. IF it had happened at all.

The French and Indian War lasted from around 1754 to 1763. Its combatants were Great Britain, France, Spain, many Native American tribes, and the North American colonists. At stake was the political landscape of an entire continent. In case this doesn’t ring a bell, here are the top 23 things that America gained from the French and Indian War:

23) French sympathy. Not during the war, when American colonists fought as subjects of the British crown, but shortly afterwards, when they decided to tell the Brits to shove it. After all, the British had overtaken enough French territory to more than double the size of its own. What better way to get back at them than to help their subjects wage a revolution 13 years down the road?

22-5) Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among other areas. Thank you, France and Spain. Sorry, rightful native owners.

4) A ton of expenses. No, really; managing all that extra territory proved to be a financial nightmare for Great Britain, and as anyone who wants out of a bad relationship knows, being high maintenance is a great way to expedite a breakup.

3) George Washington. No, make that General George Washington, who became a military man during the French and Indian War at the behest of the British governor of Virginia. In 1753, at 21 years of age, the inexperienced George was assigned the task of leading his men through 500 miles of wilderness and kindly asking the French to leave the Ohio Valley. With their refusal began Washington’s military career, which we’re told came in handy some years down the road.

2) Practice. Under Washington, tens of thousands of future Americans banded together in opposition to their common enemies, getting combat training and the lay of the land in the process. Many colonists who fought in the French and Indian War went on to form the backbone of the American Revolution.

1) Nationalism. By working together in an unprecedented cooperative effort, a sense of shared identity began to grow among the members of the thirteen colonies. In case the British felt they hadn’t yet given their colonial subjects enough reasons to split, they also made a point of insulting them by, for example, ranking their infantrymen above our colonial officers. Yeah. Then they stopped returning our calls.

Tea, Taxes, and The American Revolution: Crash Course World History #28

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Used – The story of slavery in the colonial New World is, in part, one of rebellion. In Jamaica, Hispaniola, Dutch Surinam and elsewhere, massive uprisings threatened European rule. But not in British North America. Between the founding of Jamestown in 1607 and the start of the American Revolution in 1775, the colonies experienced only one notable revolt, on South Carolina’s Stono River in 1739, and it lasted a single day. Yet, writes Peter Charles Hoffer, as brief as this event was, historians

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