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What Caused the French and Indian War?

Peace. All Fredrick the Great wants is peace. (For a little while.) In a fit of despair, the Holy Roman Empress conceded Lower Silesia to him and with her concession, troops of the alliances on both sides could focus on other battle fronts. In the last few years, French troops have encroached upon the British-American colonies. They have invaded along three fronts: 1. in Nova Scotia, 2. in New England and 3. down the Ohio River Valley. Currently, Britain is not paying much attention to these skirmishes, but by next year, the situation will fly out of control. The coming war will be wide-ranging and have many names including the Seven Years' War (in English-speaking Canada), the War of the Conquest (in French-speaking Canada), and the French and Indian War (in the British-American colonies). The war will extend to Europe, Africa and Asia with each having their own war names. This is a world war, no matter what name you put on it. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Did Colonel George Washington start a world war at the age of 22? He was ordered to the Ohio River Valley (which is now western Pennsylvania) to deliver a letter of demand to the French to vacate. The French refused. Then Washington was ordered to "hold the forks of the Ohio" which is near Pittsburgh, so he built Fort Necessity and this is where things get fuzzy. Somehow a French patrol was ambushed and the head of a French diplomat was crushed by a tomahawk or who-knows-what. Then the French attacked Fort Necessity which was makeshift, poorly sited and after a rain, the gunpowder was wet. The French gave Washington a chance to surrender and return to Virgina. He accepted. When he returned with his troops he expected to be dressed down. Instead, he was congratulated (probably because Washington managed to disentangle himself from a straight up fight which he would have lost). Did George Washington start a war? I seriously doubt it. The French and Indian War started based on too many troops having too little to do and British colonial governors escalating the fight. [1] [3]

Captain Bligh and Mutiny on the Bounty

William Bligh is born this year in England. He will eventually grow up to captain the HMS Bounty in 1787. On a voyage to transplant Tahitian breadfruits to the West Indies, his crew will become a little too familiar with the Tahitian girls. The sexual practices of the Tahitian natives can be quite disarming to the average British sailor, and discipline will break down. The captain will attempt to reassert discipline in what will seem to the modern person as cruel and unusual punishment. This will become a source of discontent amongst his crew. Lieutenant Fletcher Christian will lead the crew in a mutiny, put the captain and his supporters into a launch and set them adrift. They will find land, and Captain Bligh will sail the launch back to England (Wow!) where he will charge Fletcher Christian and the others with mutiny. The British navy will send out a ship to round up the mutineers. Of those captured, 4 will be acquitted, 3 pardoned and 3 hanged. Only one other mutineer will ever be found but Lieutenant Christian will be murdered by his companions on an island far from home some time before 1808. [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Mutiny Act applied to the Army as well as the Navy. It was renewed and emended ANNUALLY during those years beginning in 1689. It was not a "Pass and Forget" law. It extended wartime punishments to peacetime transgressions probably because the Parliament and the King were nervous about a rebellious army. Most people can understand that if a soldier or sailor deserts in the heat of battle, he is subject to a court martial and capital punishment if found guilty, but it is difficult to understand such punishments for peacetime infractions. Nevertheless, it was true that if a sailor was happy in Tahiti and decided to "miss" the boat, he was subject to the death penalty even if all the ship was doing was transporting plants to the West Indies. Lesser punishments such as whipping were considered perfectly reasonable. [5]

Other Important Births

  • Marie Antoinette. She will be Queen Consort of France. It is doubtful she ever said "Let them eat cake," but French law placed price controls on bread so that if bread was not available then bakers were to sell cake at the lower price. I suppose the French aristocrats "lost their head" on that one. Eh? [6]
  • King Louis the 16th of France. Otherwise known as the husband of Marie Antoinette. He will want to be loved by his people. (I'm not kidding.) As a consequence, he will get the guillotine early in 1793. His wife will lose her head later that year. [7]
  • Thomas Bowdler. "Bowdlerize" means censorship. He will publish an edition of Shakespeare with all the naughty parts removed. He will become the model the early television censorship boards. [8]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1754, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Higonnet, Patrice Louis-René (March 1968). "Origins of the Seven Years' War, The". The Journal of Modern History (The University of Chicago Press) 40 (1): 57-90. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1877721. Retrieved 29 March 2016. "The source of the Anglo-French conflict was, of course, America. There one could find three areas that were in dispute between the two crowns. The first was Acadia-Nova Scotia; the second was on the boundaries between Canada, New York, and New England; the third was in the Ohio River Valley.". 
  2. Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. History of England in the Eighteenth Century, A. D. Appleton and Company. 
  3. Alex Shrugged notes: I've seen a few explanations on why the French and Indian War started. Your mileage may vary.
  4. Mutiny on the Bounty - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 29 March 2016. “Christian's group remained undiscovered on Pitcairn until 1808, by which time only one mutineer, John Adams, remained alive. Almost all his fellow-mutineers, including Christian, had been killed, either by each other or by their Polynesian companions.”
  5. Mutiny Acts - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 29 March 2016. “The Mutiny Acts were a series of annual Acts passed by the Parliament of England, the Parliament of Great Britain, and the Parliament of the United Kingdom for governing the British Army. The first Mutiny Act was passed in 1689 in response to the mutiny of a large portion of the army which stayed loyal to James II upon William III taking the crown of England. Today, mutiny by British forces is punished under the Armed Forces Act 2006.”
  6. Marie Antoinette - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 29 March 2016. “The phrase 'Let them eat cake' is often attributed to Marie Antoinette, but there is no evidence she ever uttered it, and it is now generally regarded as a 'journalistic cliché'.”
  7. Louis XVI of France - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 29 March 2016. “His desire to be loved by his people is evident in the prefaces of many of his edicts that would often explain the nature and good intention of his actions as benefiting the people. He aimed to earn the love of his people by reinstating the parlements. When questioned about his decision, he said: 'It may be considered politically unwise, but it seems to me to be the general wish and I want to be loved.'”
  8. Thomas Bowdler - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 29 March 2016. “The verb bowdlerise (or bowdlerize) has associated his name with the censorship not only of literature but also of motion pictures[3] and television programmes.”

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