What was the French & Indian War?

The French & Indian War is the name generally used to describe the conflict between Britain and France for control of North America in the mid-18th century.  The war formed a theatre of the global Seven Years War.

Following the conclusion of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) the desire for British and French colonies to expand their territory led to frontier conflicts which focused on the rich land of the Ohio River valley. In 1754 an attack on a French party bearing an ultimatum ignited the flames of war and signalled an escalation of the posturing into open conflict.  The despatch of regular British and French troops followed to bolster the ranks of the locally raised colonial units and their Native American allies. The ensuing conflict reached its conclusion in 1760 by which time Britain had expelled the French from North America.

Significant Incidents of the War:


  • July:- Battle of Monongahela: Major-General Braddock’s army crushed by French colonial troop and Indians close to Fort Duquesne.
  • Sept:- Battle of Lake George.: British colonial troops repulse French army commanded by General Dieskau.


  • May:- War only formally declared two years after incident in Ohio River valley. General Montcalm arrives to take command of French army.
  • July:- Earl of Loudon arrives to take command of British troops in North America.
  • August:- French capture Fort Oswego on shore of Lake Ontario.


  • August:- French capture Fort William Henry on Lake George.
  • Dec:- James Abercromby replaces Loudon as British commander.


  • July:- French repulse major British assault on Fort Carillon on Lake Champlain. French fortress at Louisbourg capitulates.
  • Sept:- Jeffrey Amherst appointed to replace Abercromby as British commander.
  • Nov:- French abandon Fort Duquesne.


  • July:- The French fort at Niagara capitulates. The French abandon Fort Carillon and Fort St. Frederic. British reoccupy Oswego.
  • August:- British repulsed at Montmorency Falls as part of Quebec campaign.
  • Sept:- British defeat French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, outside Quebec. Quebec surrenders.


  • April:- French defeat British at Battle of Ste. Foy on Plains of Abraham and besiege Quebec.
  • May:- French forced to lift siege of Quebec.
  • Sept:- French army surrenders at Montreal bringing an end to the war.