tv [untitled] January 28, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm EST
prostitution and other crime thrived till a 1960 james commission crackdown. beaumont, texas, next weekend on c-span2 and 3. each week is, american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of the country's college prof s profess professors. you can watch the clas every saturday here at p.m. and sundays at 11:00 a.m. eastern. professor davidnaire ret teaches a history course which examines early american history emphasizing the conflicts between con lonnists and natives, the relationship between american freedom and slavery and the growth of the british empire in north america. in the following lecture, professornaire ret teaches about the seven years war or the french and indian war. this is about an hour 20 minutes. well, welcome to our classes in colonial history at the university of texas at arlington. and today, our subject is the
seven years war or the french and indian war. and as the two names tell us, this war has at least a dual meaning, really a multifacetted meaning because it was a conflict fought in various areas of the globe. it was a conflict that began in 1754 in north america. and through that beginning of the war in north america, france and britain came to be at war with each other. and formerly in europe, france and britain -- colonies in north america and their forces in north america were already joined in conflict. so to understand the french and
indian wars that's traditionally called an american/u.s. history and also the seven years war, one has to put it in a very broad perspective. of north american history and even european history, of course looking beyond europe to the competition between empires especially france and britain in various corners of the globe. the war would be fought in north america where it began. it was joined in europe on a large scale. and involved nations such as russia, austria, prussia, as well as france and britain and of course, it was fought in the caribbean, as well. which was a major theater of conflict during the war. toward the end of the war, spain would join on the side of france. complicating the matter still.
well, today, our focus will mainly be on the conflict in north america and of course, that was the land of native peoples. and of many distinct indian peoples. and their land, their present, their future, all of those were at stake. every bit if not more so than for the european empires contesting for power abroad and the french and british colora coloradonyists. so really to understand the war we look at the imperial perspective, the conflict between france and britain for overseas mastery and mastery in north america, the involvement of colonials of britain and france in north america and also native perspectives very importantly of the many indian
peoples who are drawn into the conflict. now, geography is very important for understanding the conflict in north america and really you have four principal zones in north america that we're going to focus on today. one is the area where the war began. the ohio country. and we talked a little about this last time, how the war began in the ohio country in 1754. when the colony of virginia challenged the french building a fort in the ohio country. the war also involved acadia or what is also called nova scotia, the name given that area by the british. an area on the eastern coast of canada. which is very important during the conflict.
the war also involved the region of the lake champlain corridor. now, lake champlain is a lake today that is largely between two states, new york state on the western side of the lake and on the east vermont. the northern tip of the lake does touch canada. so lake champlain was extremely important in the war as a corridor between the colony of new york and the hudson river valley and canada. and it could be an artery of invasion either moving northward or southward. as we'll see at various points in the conflict. and lastly, of great importance was the st. lawrence river, the great river of canada. beginning with its source in the great lakes and of course, its
course downstream moving northeasterly all the way to the atlantic. and quebec being the main french fortress and most powerful single point in canada was to be very significant in the conflict. so, let's take a look at a modern map and get a sense of this geography. now, today, beyond discussing military history, i'd like to give you a little sense of the human dimensions of this conflict. and the various peoples and interests involved. the struggles, the sufferings which were great. the hardships, not least of the acadians, the french colonists
of acadia who were largely deported and expelled from their native land by the british. during the conflict. we'll also talk about a battle that occurred in the lake champlain corridor actually on lake -- on the shores of lake george and triggered a famous episode, a massacre that's featured in the movie "the last of the mohicans," as well as the book of course, by james fen more cooper, the 19th century novel. we'll also talk about the turning point in the war, how in the early stages in north america, the british and british colonials were faring badly and the french and their native allies were doing quite well and then how in 1757, with william pitt's rise to power as the first minister in england as the king's first minister what would
be prime minister today, the british adopted a more effective war policy that made north america a central theater of the war and brought more resources to north america which helped british victory ultimately. and that british victory we'll see occurred through the occupation of certain points, including ultimately quebec. and we'll talk about the british campaign that culminated in the conquest of french canada in 1759-'60. now, let's turn to a modern pap to give you a sense of the geography that i've outlined here. and we can see that the -- there's an outline of the british colonies along the seaboard. and also an indication of roughly where the appalachian
mountains lay dividing coastal regions from the vast interior. entirely a native land really. where there were european traders, french for the most part in this region of the great lakes, for example, and the mississippi valley. but there were very, very few europeans. and we also see on this map the location of lake champlain. and you can see it as a corridor between the hudson river which empties in new york, that is in manhattan into new york bay and the atlantic and its northern reaches through a river approached montreal. so who would control this artery, that's very important for the determination of the conflict. we also talk about acadia or
nova scotia, which is here. an important region. and next, we'll begin with the ohio country because this is where the conflict began in 1784. pardon me, 1754. 1754. all right? okay. let's continue. well, historians use maps, you know, to get a sense of not only the relationship between geographic regions and that's very important, but historical maps such as this one which date to 1756 and was drawn in paris gives us this type of map gives us a sense of how europeans
perceive the north american landsca landscape. it tells us what they knew most about, what they knew less about. for example, it also shows you little red dots where there are settlements or towns in areas of the british colonies. and here, of course, is the st. lawrence. and montreal would be here where and quebec toward here. so we get a sense of how people living at that time, especially policy maker government, policymakers, government leaders perceived the geographic landscape. one of the most interesting features of this map, which is in the state library of vap is that it is french and gives you a french perspective. the line that presumes to be a boundary here indicates where
the french believe boundary to be between the british and french colonies. actually, there is now agreed to boundary. there is no consensus between britain and france at all about where their respective colonies merge. there is a contested frontier or border lands between the british colonies and french canada and actually the country at stake is almost entirely an indian country. and that is where the war begins. why does the war begin lear in the ohio country? it really began because of french policy thinking about british expansion and how
british expansion must be stopped. not only the expansion of settlements westward which the french were concerned about given the fact that the british colonies were growing so rapidly in population and by the mid-1750s the british colonies had a population approaching 1.5 million people. far, far out numbering the french in canada who may have numbered some 80,000 by comparison at the time. well, how could the french with a population of roughly 80,000 perhaps in the st. lawrence river valley and neighboring regions, how could they possi y possibly -- numbered a million and a half. of course, there were several hundred thousand saves among the total population in the british colonies.
the french were also concerned not only about the expansion of british population and the movement westward, but also of trade that british colonial traders from pennsylvania and virginia were venturing into the ohio country and with british manufacturered goods, they were going to capture the fur trade and draw towards the british colonies and away from canada, and the french realized in canada that if they lost control of the fur trade in the interior and it was drawn mostly to the british, then canada would be worthless and lost because the thinking was this. where the native peoples made economic alliances, if they made
their economic alliances with the british, they would also make their political and military ones with them, too. their trade would sway native peoples in a certain direction. so the french attempt in the early 1750s was to foreclose that. how would they stop british expansion not only of settlements but of trade into the interior of north america? it the answer was a fort building program in what was called the ohio country. which had no definite boundaries at the time. the ohio country consisted of parts of what is today the state of pennsylvania as well as ohio. in fact, the most strategic region at the time was in western pennsylvania. particular particularly at the forks which make the beginning and mark the beginning of the ohio river
where the allegheny and monongahela rivers meets to form the ohio. and there the french established a fort nrin 1754 called fort duquesne, and the british colonials in virginia were very concerned about that. they would not easily tolerate that. virginia claimed boundries stretching to the south sea based on its charter from the crown back in 1609. the virginians were very much expansionists. and leading men of virginia had already formed a land company which got british permission to colonize this area. and if a certain number of colonists could be situated there, let's say 100 families, that is company, by right from
the king, could receive a grant of up to 500,000 acres. so there was much at stake. it was not only in the interests of ordinary british colonials in colonies such as virginia that were at stake, but also the interests of a land company such as the ohio company that wanted to expand settlement and do so in a way that was profitable. and acquire land and legal title from the crown, bargain with native peoples and then bring on setlers to establish a profitable enterprise. well, of course, the colony of virginia nech 17in 1753 decideso sends a message to the french in the ohio country. we know who the governor sends, governor of virginia, robert din widie at the time.
and he sends our young hero, george washington all of 22 years old, right? and just a young colonel of militia and he goes on a mission westward everywhere virginia to the ohio country and all the way north to the lake erie to notify french officials there who have established forts, who have hundreds of men now in the ohio country that this territory by right belongs to britain and not to the king of france. and of course, washington was an emissary here. he was not coming so much as a soldier. he was accompanied just by a few native guides. and the french commanders treated him quite civilly. but they made it quite clear
that this land all the way to the ohio belongs to france. and it is not british. so the conflict would begin the next year when washington would, this time, march out to the ohio country, toured fort duquesne with the force of 300 to 400 men and the fighting would begin that spring and summer of 1754, that marked the beginning of the french and indian war. and a war that spread far beyond this limited area. so i don't think really washington or the french who were immediately involved or the native peoples of that particular region, the delawares and the shawnees and the miamis, and others, could foresee
exactly what would come from this early clash. well, let's move to the next slide. and this is a -- the journal of washington, very interesting the -- that he kept, and during his first journey to the ohio country where he went as a diplomatic emissary of the governor of varks robert dinwidie and he went to tell the french command dant on the ohio that this land in the ohio region bloelonged to the britis and not the french. and washington's journal was published in williamsburg, virginia, not only there but also in london. so at the had an impact on the government in london and london was being apprised that there
was a burgeoning conflict between the british colonies particularly virginia in this case and the french in the ohio country. now, in 1754, the british colonies aware that hostilitieses -- are about to begin and that tensions are mounting, several of the british colonies send delegates to albany. in the colony of new york to confer together and, of course, that's called the albany congress. one of the delegates at the albany congress most famously is benjamin franklin. and franklin representing the colony of pennsylvania, believed as others did that the colonies would have to work together, that is the british colonies
which did not have a history of working very well together or very strong ties among themselves in terms of military policy making, no, the colonies were accustomed apart from the new england colonies would often work together, but the colonies to the south would really operate more or less on their own individually. so the albany congress were where delegates of several colonies met in 175 4u6 discu4 how them could cooperate more effectively together and even establish a type of union among themselves under british authority. now, the plans of the albany congress did not bear fruition as benjamin franklin tells us.
no colonial congress or grand council as franklin concedes developed from the albany congress. nevertheless, franklin's idea which he shared with others of drawing the colonies more closely together under british rule so that they could form a common policy and front against the french and the native allies of the french, that was very important. and franklin, of course, expressed this idea through a family mus cartoon that he accomplished in the pennsylvania gazette in 1754 in philadelphia. and it shows the colonies as a snake, right? and either they it will join together or they'll die separately. now he chose to picture them from north to south. head to tail. new england grouping those
together, new york, new jersey, pennsylvania, maryland, virginia, north carolina, south carolina, seems to have forgot georgia. maybe that was a little distant and not immediately, he knew georgia was just a new and beginning colony and might not perhaps contribute so much to the common effort so franklinen interestingly ended the tail of this colonial dragon with south carolina, but the point is that he wanted more effective unity working together towards common ends. now, where were the early battles? the first skirmishes of the french and indian war occur or the seven years war in north america, the british of course, will call this the french and indian war.
the name as we'll see in today's lecture can be a little misleading because not all indian peoples by any means side the with the french. indian peoples shifted in loyalty. some were neutral at the beginning of the conflict. others joined the french. others had a wait and see attitude. some would change sides during the war. so native peoples longed to particular groups. we have to think of them as ir, "irare quois and even within the irquois within that entity let's say the mohawks as compared to the senecas and, of course, you have to do the same with other native groups, shawnees, delawares, pot would themys, miamis, many, many others and we'll talk about some of those today. so the name french and indian war can be used to indicate the
seven years war north america but it's very important tore remember that it doesn't really mean that all the natives by any means are simply on the french side or that they stay on one side throughout the war. again, native peoples enter this conflict for their own reasons, for their own interests. and we'll see that their interests are not identical at all to the french let alone to the british. so what is fort necessity? fort necessity is a site in western -- southwestern pennsylvania today. then it was in this broad region called the ohio country. it was where washington in the summer of 1754 established a simple crude fort in a meadow. there was a large meadow there. and that has been preserved to today amidst a great forest of
endless miles. and washington thought i'll establish a defensive position here. there had already been at that time the first skirmishes between the virginians and the french. now, what happened is that the french who were several hundred at fort duquesne and who had even more native allies notice area came to contest washington and they were stronger and forced him to surrender. in july, 1754. and so this first military action of washington's in the war is a failure. he and the virginians are defeated. however, they're able to surrender on honorable terms and permitted to return to virginia. so yet, the french have sent the
message that british colonials will not have an easy time if they pass into the ohio country. they will be contested by the french and the french of course, will rely on native allies such as the delawares and the shawn knees and it's interesting to note that in relying on the delawares and shawnees, the french were calling upon the assistance of native peoples who had been forced westward by british colonials in eastern pennsylvania. and some of these native peoples forced westward, of course, harbored resentment against the british and british colonials and helps -- this helps to explain why some of them aided the french at this early stage in the conflict. now, in 1754 and into '55, the british government decided that
the conflict in north america was serious enough that british troops should become directly involved. now, this is a very interesting point. the year is 1755. war has not yet been declared between britain and france. and yet, there is fighting in north america that's already begun. the british government makes the decision to send two regiments of troops totally nearly 2,000 men to north america to join in the conflict there. even though britain and france are not yet at war in europe, but the british government is thinking that north america is sufficiently important thart we have