England's Seven Years War - Essay Example

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England's Seven Years War

For some historians, the Seven Years’ War is seen as an extension of the War of Austrian Succession. Frederick II of Prussia had forced Austria into the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa signed only to buy time to rebuild Austria’s military and extend its alliances. Austria successfully created bonds with France and Russia, while Prussia’s sole but powerful ally was England. England and Prussia formed a strong alliance, due to the military dominance of the former on the sea and the latter on land.2 According Schultz, while the causes of the Seven Years’ War were European in nature3, across the globe, France and England competed for commercial and colonial supremacy. In America especially, the attempts of the British colonies to expand westward were thwarted by French presence in the Mississippi Valley. The French built a series of forts there to stop British movement, which became a focal point for armed conflict.4
In Europe, bolstered by the support of England, Frederick II attacked Saxony and Prague. The Russians attacked and bested a force in East Prussia at the Battle of Gross-Jagersdorf. Austria and France worked to crush the Prussian army in 1757, but Frederick II was able to victor at the Battles of Rossbach and Leuthen, restoring the Prussian advantage.5
The French enjoyed early successes in the war. Sloan notes that French troops were vigorous in asserting their presence in New York, while the English did very little.6 The French general Montcalm easily took Fort Oswego there and began to assert a real and threatening presence in North America.7
The French also had victory at Fort William Henry, which they surrounded and attacked for five days, killing 300 British who were also suffering from a small pox epidemic. Although Montcalm had promised the British they could ...Show more

Summary

Caused by imperial rivalry and ancient animosities, it would change the face of the world, alter how nations used navies, and set the stage for Britain’s loss of the crown jewels in its empire, the…
Author : cbotsford
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