The French and Indian War (1754–1763) was the North American chapter the Seven Years' War. The war was fought between the colonies of British America and New France, as well as Native American allies. The French in particular depended on the Indian allies.
The war was fought primarily along the frontiers between New France and the British colonies, from Virginia in the South to Nova Scotia in the North. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. This was called the Forks of the Ohio and the site of the French Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh). The conflict opened at the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754, during which a 22-year-old George Washington, commanding Virginia militiamen, ambushed a French patrol.
In 1755, six colonial governors in North America met with General Edward Braddock, the newly arrived British Army commander, and planned a four-way attack on the French.
None succeeded and the main effort by Braddock was a disaster; he was defeated in the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755 and died a few days later. British operations in 1755, 1756 and 1757 in the frontier areas of Pennsylvania and New York all failed, due to a combination of poor management, internal divisions, and effective offensive actions by French regular forces, Canadian and Native Americans. In 1755, the British captured Fort Beauséjour on the border separating Nova Scotia from the French colony of Acadia.
To make way for settlers from New England, the British then ordered the expulsion of the French settlers or Acadians (both those captured in arms and those who had sworn the loyalty oath to His Britannic Majesty) likewise the Native Americans who had backed the French were driven off their land
After the disastrous 1757 British campaigns, resulting in a failed expedition against the massive fortress at Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry, the British government fell.
France concentrated its forces against Prussia and its allies in the European theatre of the war.
William Pitt came to power and significantly increased British military resources in the colonies at a time when France was unwilling to risk large convoys to aid the limited forces it had in New France.
From 1758 the British military successfully penetrated the heartland of New France, including subduing the mighty fortress of Louisbourg, Quebec fell in September 1759 and then Montreal in September 1760.
At the end of the conflict France ceded its territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain. It ceded French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River (including New Orleans) to its ally Spain, in compensation for Spain's loss to Britain of Florida. (Spain had ceded this to Britain in exchange for the return of Havana, Cuba). France's colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Britain's position as the dominant colonial power in eastern North America.