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The French and Indian War took place between 1754 and 1763 and is also known as the Seven Years War. This conflict formed part of a larger struggle between France and Great Britain to expand their empires. Although Great Britain won this war with massive gains in land in North America, it also cost them dearly as it led to more conflict, ultimately resulting in the American Revolution.
Reasons for Britain's Victory
- Leadership: when William Pitt was asked to take over the war operations for the British, things came to a turning point and they started to win. He invested a lot in the war as he believed that controlling North America was important for Great Britain as a world power. In France, Louis XV was more occupied with his mistresses and court intrigues to be too bothered about the colonies, often leaving the French colonialists to fend for themselves.
- A different global strategy. William Pitt put money and resources in the colonial conflicts, while the French focused more on the war against Prussia in Europe
- Collaboration with colonial authorities: Pitt gave local authorities control over supplies and recruitment, paying them for their help, while the French struggled to get manpower and supplies. The French were however better at recruiting the Indians to fight with them.
- A better navy. Because the British navy controlled most of the harbors, France could not easily send reinforcements or supplies to the colonies.
- Larger numbers and better resources. In the end, it all came down to the fact that the British outnumbered the French, and even though The French did very well with guerilla tactics, it was the major battles that mattered, killing French soldiers that were not easily replaceable.
This article is part of our larger resource on the Colonial America culture, society, economics, and warfare. Click here for our comprehensive article on Colonial America.