What Were the French and Indian Wars and Why Do We Care

Four Almost Continuous Wars in the 18th Century

The Four Wars Fought in 17th and 18th Century North America Concerned, Among Other Things, Who Would Control the Northern United States
The Four Wars Fought in 17th and 18th Century North America Concerned, Among Other Things, Who Would Control the Northern United States

All four of the French and Indian Wars were fought before the settlement of Lenox.

However they are part of the Lenox story since the wars:

-continued the fear of Indian/ Canadian raids that delayed settlement of remote areas such as the Berkshires

-by the end of the four wars the practice of using Indians as allies to be played against each other and the enemy largely ceased

-demonstrated the importance of the colonies in international trade and prestige

-involved substantial resources and manpower in New England (the families of early Lenox settlers and the Stockbridge Indians may have participated in fighting in northern New York, Nova Scotia, and the Great Lakes)

-cost Great Britain a great deal which resulted in new taxes and duties that contributed to the 1775 Revolution of the British Colonies

-although key territories (in treaties) and fortified holdings (Fort Duquense – modern day Pittsburgh, Detroit, Fort Ticonderoga), changed hands (several times), the 85 year period ended with a major power shift to the British in North America now including most of the territory south of the Great Lakes and East of the Mississippi

All four involved a European dynastic/balance of power war.  The fourth (the one people may be thinking of when they say “French and Indian War”) was the one that was the most driven by Colonial issues and received the most support from the respective mother countries.  In the earlier wars, the Colonials were largely on their own and an after thought to the European theatre (hence the reference below to “Intercolonial” wars. and the size of the color bars below.

Years of War

North American War

European War



King William’s War1st Intercolonial War (in Quebec) War of the Grand AllianceWar of the League of AugsburgNine Years’ War Treaty of Ryswick (1697)


Queen Anne’s War
 2nd Intercolonial War War of the Spanish Succession Treaty of Utrecht (1713)


King George’s War
 3rd Intercolonial War
 War of Jenkins’ Ear War of the Austrian Succession Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)


The French and Indian War4th Intercolonial War
 4th Indian War[1] Seven Years’ War Treaty of Paris (1763)



The First Frontier, The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery and Endurance in Early America,  by Scott Weidensaul, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 2012

American History, 1690 – 1740, Provincial America, Evarts, Boatel, Greene, 1905

The French and Indian War, by Walter Bornean, Harper Collins eBooks, 2006

The French and Indian Wars, Wikipedia


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.