Crisis in the Colonies 8th Grade Social Studies Mr. Stetler Davidson, James W. "Crisis in the Colonies." The American Nation. Needham: Prentice Hall, 2003. 140-45. Print.
By the mid 1700’s, the major powers of Europe were locked in a worldwide struggle for empire. • England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands competed for trade and colonies in far-flung corners of the globe. • The English colonies in North America soon became caught up in the contest. • The most serious threat came from France
It claimed a vast area that stretched from the St. Lawrence River west to the Great Lakes and south to the Gulf of Mexico.
To protect their land claims, the French built an extensive system of forts. These forts blocked the English colonies from expanding to the West.
Conflict in the Ohio Valley • By the 1740’s, British traders were crossing the Appalachian Mountains in search of furs. Pushing into the Ohio Valley, they tried to take over the profitable French trade with the Indians. • France was determined to stop the english from expanding westward. The Ohio River was especially important to the French because it provided a vital link between their lands in Canada and their settlements along the Mississippi River.
The growing conflict between the British and the French was too dangerous for the Native Americans to ignore. • Some Native Americans decided that the only way to protect their way of life was to take sides in the struggle. • The French were mostly trappers and traders, they did not generally destroy Indian hunting grounds by clearing forests for farms. • The British had little regard for Native American land rights, they took their land for farming, and ripped down their forests for fuel and land. • Native Americans mostly sided with the French (the Iroquois sided with the British).
French and Indian War soldier describing the death of his wife to his father-in-law. Waterbury April the 1 1776 • Onered (Honored) father and mother after our duty to you and love to brothers and sisters and all friends hoping theslins (these lines) will find you well. I would inform you in a short and broken maner and in grat hast (great haste) that we remain much distrest (distressed). I fear no better then when brother and sister was there. hur (Her) body very much sweld (swelled) and very helples a tedescof (A tedes cough: tedes is Latin for dry) attends hur (her). hurtriel (Her trial) is grate (great) our burden heavey. may god grant us grace to behave wisely under his righteous visitation for that is all writ. we want to hear from you pray send me a letter if you can by mr. nickels who I expect to bee the carier (carrier). brother sutliffs are well. so I remain you obedent child, -Wait Hotchkiss
Three times between 1689 and 1748, France and Britain fought for power in Europe and North America. Each war ended with uneasy peace. • In 1754, fighting broke out for a fourth time. English settlers called the conflict the French and Indian Warbecause it pitted them against France and its Native American allies. • Once again, the Ohio River Valley was the center of the dispute. • A 22 year old Aide to a British General led 150 troops into the Ohio country in April of 1754, that man was George Washington.
Along the way, Washington heard the French just completed building their Fort Duquesne at the very spot where Washington hoped to build his fort. • Marching quietly through the night, Washington launched a surprise attack and scattered the French. • Do we see this happen with Washington anywhere else in history?!?!?!? • Washington’s success was brief, the French quickly set-up to counter attack. • Washington and his men quickly threw up a makeshift stockade and named their fort: Necessity.
A force of 700 French and Indians surrounded the fort. • Badly outnumbered, the Virginians surrendered. The French then released Washington and he returned home. • British officials recognized the significance of Washington’s skirmish: • “The Volley fired by this young Virginian in the forests of America…has set the world in flames.”