Why did Britain win the French and Indian War of 1754-1760?

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Why did Britain win the French and Indian War of 1754-1760?

The French and Indian war began 1754 and is part of the Seven Years War that continued until 1763. The name of the war is simply the name of Britain’s opponents in North America. Its beginning was a result of a dispute over land at the Ohio River Valley.  There are many different reasons that suggest Britain were successful in this war for example they had taken control of almost all of Canada and France pretty much their entire North American possessions. However it was not a war without sacrifice there are also many problems that arose during this war and also under lying issues that had not been dealt with previously. The ideology that the French and Indian War should be considered a win is described by William Pitt who states that is was a ‘great war for empire’. The Seven Years War actually lasted years spanning from 1754 to 1763 and didn’t just involve France and Britain. Nations such as Austria, Prussia and Sweden were also involved. Later in the war Spain took part in the war in order to defend their colonies in such places as Florida; however they were unsuccessful in their battle.  

        There are many causes for the outbreak of war in 1754 the main one is pointed out by Daniel Marston who states ‘the causes of the Seven Years War are rooted in the outcome of an earlier conflict, the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which brought this war to an end, had done nothing to assuage the anger of Austria over the loss to Prussia of the wealthy Province of Silesia. Nor had it been able to contain the conflicting colonial ambitions of France and Britain, which provoked continued skirmishing well beyond the official cessation of hostilities. There were however a few differences between the two one wars such as the fact that this war took place on a worldwide scale whereas the War of the Austrian Succession had been a more European skirmish. Another important difference between the two wars is the change in allies that took place. In the war of the Austrian Succession Austria and Britain had been allies and long before that however they had swapped sides and the Austrians sided with the French. The Prussians had always sided with the French in previous wars but had now become an ally to Britain. There was also the fact that Britain had employed isolationism from Europe and had decide to become a more self sufficient.

        The main reason it is so clear that the British won the French and Indian War is the amount land they acquired. The British took almost the entirety of Canada, also India and Senegambia from the French. They also expelled the Spanish from Florida. These areas had been of great importance to imperial expansion. This is made clear by Steve Sarsons in his lectures that ‘You can hardly exaggerate the enormity of this victory for Britain. Although the British Empire would grow larger in later years, eventually covering two-thirds of the world’s population, it’s probably true that Britain’s power relative to that of its rivals, especially France and Spain, has never greater than it was in 1763.’  Britain had also captured the sugar islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique during the War. After the Seven Year War was over they exchanged these sugar islands for recognition of owner ship of Quebec with France. This deal was done so France some access to sugar and Britain had the entire of Canada as part of their ever expanding empire. There were also other places that Britain removed the French from these were Goree in Africa and also Pondicherry in India these places proved integral to the British Empire later on in its existence. Geographically this meant that the British Empire had colonies in Africa, America, Asia and of course Europe.

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        One factor that suggests you can describe the war as a success is the role of William Pitt. His role is described perfectly by Karl W. Schweizer, who is a professor  and chair of the Department of Humanities and social sciences at New Jersey Institute, in his book War, Politics and Diplomacy which states ‘For the longest time historians studying civil-military relations during the Seven Year Wars have inevitably linked Britain’s ultimate victory with Pitt’s strategic mastery, supreme direction of the war effort, predominance over vital government departments and above all, with his “wise choice of commanders on land and ...

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