The following annotated chapter outline will help you review the major topics covered in this chapter.
Instructions: Review the outline to recall events and their relationships as presented in the chapter. Return to skim any sections that seem unfamiliar.
I. The Seven Years’ War, 1754–1763
A. French–British Rivalry in the Ohio Country 1. French fur traders had a long-term alliance with Indians in the Ohio country. In the 1740s, Pennsylvanian and Virginian land speculators asserted claims to the same Ohio territory, obtained a land grant from the British king, and planned to sell land to Anglo-American colonists seeking fresh land.
2. French soldiers advanced into Indian territory in the Ohio Country and built a series of forts, hoping to create a western barrier to British-American expansion.
3. In 1753, Robert Dinwiddie, Virginia’s royal governor, sent George Washington as a messenger to warn the French that they were trespassing on Virginia land; Washington returned with crucial intelligence about French military plans.
4. Dinwiddie, impressed with Washington’s handling of the mission, appointed the youth to lead a small military expedition west to assert and, if need be, defend Virginia’s claim, but to respond with force only if the French attacked first.
5. Washington returned to the Ohio Country with 160 armed Virginians aided by Indian allies of the Mingo tribe.
6. In May 1754, a detachment of some of Washington’s men, led by Mingo chief Tanaghrisson, surprised French soldiers in the woods; the resulting panicked skirmish led to fourteen French deaths at the hands of the Americans and Indians and marked the violent start of the Seven Years’ War.
7. In response, French soldiers attacked the American Fort Necessity in July 1754, killing or wounding a third of Washington’s men, and making it clear that the French would not leave the disputed territory.
B. The Albany Congress and Intercolonial Defense 1. Even as Virginians, Frenchmen, and Indians fought and died in the Ohio Country, British imperial leaders still hoped to prevent the struggle from turning into a larger war.
2. In June and July 1754, twenty-four delegates from seven colonies met with Iroquois Indians of the Six Nations in Albany, New York, to strengthen British alliances with the powerful and seemingly neutral Indian tribes who might otherwise support the French.
3. Two delegates, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Hutchinson, took the opportunity to coauthor the Albany Plan of Union, which proposed to provide for colonial defense by instituting a unified but limited government over all the colonies.
4. Having learned of Washington’s defeat at Fort Necessity during their congress, the Albany Delegates approved the Albany Plan, which called for a president general appointed by the crown, together with a grand council, who would meet annually to consider questions of war, peace, and trade with the Indians.
5. Not a single colony approved the plan, and it likewise failed to garner British or Indian support.
C. The War and Its Consequences 1. By 1755, Washington’s frontier skirmish had turned into a major mobilization of British and American troops against the French.
2. Unfortunately for the British, the French were not only prepared to fight but also had cemented respectful alliances with many Indian tribes from Canada down through the Great Lakes region and into Ohio.
3. In July 1755, French and Indian forces ambushed British troops near Fort Duquesne, killing nearly one thousand British soldiers; for the next two years, the British stumbled badly on the American front.
4. The rise to power in 1757 of William Pitt, England ’s prime minister, finally turned the war around by paying colonial assemblies to raise and equip provincial soldiers to mount military assaults.
5. Battles continued to flare in the American colonies and Canada from 1758 to 1760, culminating in the fall of Quebec and Montreal.