HIS311Y1 Lecture Notes - John And James Woolf, Lake Ontario, Histidine
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September 24, 2013
If we look at the demographics and GDP we see that in mid 18th
century France is richer and more populous than Great Britain. If
we follow that logic it should be that France should defeat Great
Britain in any serious war. Britain had evolved a system of
government and administration and finance that was superior to
France and allowed the British to mobilize the resources they that
had much better than the French. That was particularly true for
the very expensive form of military expenditure- the navy. You
have to keep it in being, it isn’t just something for wartime. It has
to be professional. the British were much better at keep a navy
built and supplied than the French were.
It was not just the raw figures of power, it is how you are able to
put that power into use.
In Europe, France was bigger than England. In America England
was bigger than France. The British had million people in their
colonies by middle of 18th century. This was a population that was
derived from the British isles, but France (the protestant
Huguenots), Germany (protestants were willing to immigrate to
It is a society that is growing and prospering. By the middle of the
early 18th century the colonist in the America’s was higher than
that of the people at home. That is not only true of the British
colonies, but of New France as well. Accounts tell us that the new
French lived much better, eat and dressed better than those at
home. One problem with that is that if there were million people
in the British colonies, there were only 60,000 in the French
The French are divided into two colonies.
- One is new France
- Remnants of Acadia centered on Louisbourg.
There are also French speaking colonist who live in the British
province of Nova Scotia. They had been left over by the treaty of
1713 and technically they were British subjects. The French
government views them as a strategic asset. In the wars of 1740’s
they had not supported the British. Hadn’t necessarily opposed
them either, hoped they can sit the war out. The British were
disturbed by the situation in Nova Scotia. In 1749 the British a
new town in Halifax. This is the beginning of a new policy of the
British for Nova Scotia, which is designed to bring Nova Scotia
under control. That meant persuading French-speaking
inhabitants of Nova Scotia to understand that they were British.
And in the next war they must support the king.
In order to do that they had to take an oath. The oath would
repudiate their allegiance to France and state that no matter what
happened they would support king George II in London.
The Acadians refused and the British were ready for this. They
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had troops from Massachusetts. Massachusetts viewed Nova
Scotia as its colony. It seized the fertile land o the Annapolis valley
as a wonderful opportunity for the populace families of
Massachusetts’s troops arrive in Nova Scotia under British
command. They round up the Acadians and out them on ships for
London. Some off them take off to the woods. The settlements of
Acadia are distributed.
This is followed by an outbreak of direct hostilities. There was a
French fort and the British claimed a colony as their own, and the
French said no. The British attacked it and they took it.
As far as Canada is concerned this is the first formal hostility.
Further south, in Fort Duquesne, which was part of chain of
French forts. That are designed to protect the French
communication along the Great Lakes down to Mississippi, down
to New Orleans. The French had extended themselves to build
this. New France 60,000 people. How are they going to do it? They
had to do it with the help of old France. There was always a
French military garrison in New France, but that is expanded in
the early 1750’s.
The governors of New France are preparing for war. They believe
that they had to stop the British coming over the mountains.
There were the Appalachians that ran parallel. .
British settlements had now reached the Appalachians. The
British would come over the mountains and the French had to
stop them. There was another reason to that. The French being
insufficient numerous had to rely on the alliance of the native
people of the great lakes and the Ohio valley. What you get is
thinly scattered French troops around the mountains supported
by native people. Without Native help that part of the French
empire could not be defended. There are simply not enough
French soldiers. They are not enough militia (citizen soldiers) to
be able to supplement the regular army. That is why fort
Duquesnes is important to the French.
George Washington aged 22, a very junior Virginian officers. He
ventures into French territory to claim it into for Virginia. And the
real estate company’s behind it. The eastern north American
colonization can be viewed as a huge real estate proposition.
Washington tells the French to get out, they laugh at home, 1754
Washington is forced to surrender to a French force, and he is sent
back to Virginias with instruction not to get back. All this gets back
to London. London is the center of the empire. It is where all the
decisions are taken. It is where they send the oney from, and
where they get the troops. The British government in 1755 sends
two armies to North America. These are the first serious British
regular forces in north America.
- One goes to virgina, and marches towards fort Duquesnes.
- The other goes to New York. Marches up the Hudson, towards
the bottom of Lake champlain. (lake champlain is part of the
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