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The Seven Years War - Essay Example

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The Seven Years War

The Seven Years' War forced Britain to change its colonial policies in ways that helped drive the colonists to revolution.
For the British, part of the significance of the Seven Years' War is Britain's emergence as the uncontested imperial leader in the New World. France and Britain had dueled for years as their empires expanded and collided. Armed conflict had been intermittent for decades. France gave its best effort against the might of the British, winning many battles and adopting successful alliances with Native American fighters, who offered support on the field and tutelage in woodland fighting techniques.1
When William Pitt reignited the British army, he also persuaded the Iroquois to ally with him and reduced the French advantage. The British whittled away at the French, then struck a terrific blow at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec in 1759, surprising the French and winning a short but awful battle. The French army would need years to heal after subsequent beatings on the battlefield left Britain victorious.2
Now, Great Britain had additional duties as a colonizer. As a result of the Treaty of Paris 1763, the French ceded land east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain. With larger land area to administrate, govern, protect, and defend, Britain placed additional strain on an already swollen fiscal budget. It would naturally expect the colonists, as British subjects to pay a proportionately higher amount of taxes to finance the new services.3
Victory in the Seven Years' War impacted Britain's attitude about how to treat opponents. It had not started winning the war until William Pitt began to use his bold, energetic, highly confident style to get results. Having sufficiently deposed the French with the heavy hand of its military, it now figured it could do the same to any colonists who were foolish enough to raise arms against the mother country.4
Other significance of the Seven Years' War lies in the resultant expansion of British debt. Trade was disrupted during the war, so the government collected fewer import taxes than it would during times of peace. Also, American smugglers were denying the government their share whenever possible. The huge government bureaucracy in America took vast sums of cash for government officials and the maintenance of a standing army.5
The standing army was a further cause of contention between colonists and the British government. To the British, the army seemed necessary to defend the vast expanses from Native American, French, and other potential threats. But to the colonists, the standing army was an ever-present threat that could turn on the population with one order from a commanding officer.6
The Seven Years' War had further significance: it would create a knowledgeable, experienced corps of soldiers and Indian allies for the British and the colonists in the coming American Revolution. The outcome of the earlier war also boosted the chances France would support the colonists in their effort to free themselves from Britain. France would be eager to have a chance at revenge by supporting Britain's opponent in any war.7 Britain's colonial dominance also made it a target for other nations. Spain, Holland, and the League of Armed Neutrality were also eager to join against Britain when the opportunity ...Show more

Summary

The English and the French had been dueling for literally over a century before the Seven Years' War took place. The intermittent conflicts had seen each side victorious at one time or another, but the long wars were torturing the economy and society of both countries, who also had to contend with famine, plague, and economic trouble.
Author : leschpaula
The Seven Years War essay example
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