History Behind the Word “American”

After the victory of Fort Duquesne, the British chose to drive the French out of Canada.  It dates back to June of 1759 when the British attached Quebec, which is located on steep cliffs above the St. Lawrence River. To be able to carry out the surprise attack, British troops silently climbed narrow paths up the cliffs during the night.

The French were surprised to find the British at the gates of the city the next morning.  The battle lasted for months.  Finally on September 13th, the French surrendered Quebec.  One year later, British seized Montreal, and the French were forced from Canada.

War between Great Britain and France in Canada ended with the fall of Montreal.  However, battles between the two countries continued in Europe until 1763, when France was defeated. They signed the Treaty of Paris, ending the French and Indian War.  After this treaty was signed, Great Britain claimed all of France’s colonies in North America.

After the war, the French could no longer help the Native Americans. Likewise, Great Britain could not afford to use troops to protect settlers in the Ohio Valley.  As a result, Great Britain issued the Proclamation of 1763.  This was the official announcement that set aside land west of the Appalachian Mountains for Native American groups.

Even though the British claimed previous French lands, they did not have firm control over them.  In 1763, Ottawa Chief Pontiac united Native Americans in the Ohio River valley to drive out the British. Pontiac’s fighters captured and burned many British settlements in the area but were defeated by the British army.

Washington on his journey to the French forts.
Source: ushistoryimages.com

The British victory in the French and Indian War united the colonists.  They joined together to fight a powerful enemy.  They discovered strong leaders such as George Washington.  Soon, a new, independent spirit developed between the “Americans,” as they called themselves.  Victory in the French and Indian War set the stage for the American Revolution.

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