Creation of independence

lecture

The Seven Years´ War and colonial Sence of commonality

The French were the main rival of the English in the colonization of North America. They controlled Canada and Louisiana, which included the entire Mississippi watershed - a vast area with few people. French influence can be seen even nowadays: Louisiana was named after King Louis and similar was the motivation for Saint Louis, a town on Mississippi river. New Orleans was named in the honour of Jane of Arc (the Maid of Orléans). Britain and France fought several wars; however, the conflict known as the Seven Years' War was the most crucial they were engaged in. The struggle began in 1754 after a squadron of soldiers led by an unknown, twenty-two year old George Washington attacked a French fortress Fort Duquesne.

The war was also called the French and Indian War by the colonies because the English were fighting the French and their Native American allies, the Hurons. The two countries were fighting for control of North America which meant gaining an access to the all-important Mississippi River, the lifeline of the frontier to the west. Soon after the British captured Louisbourg, a strategic gate to the St. Lawrence Seaway, the French chapter of North American history ended in a bloody finale. England's superior strategic position and its competent leadership ultimately brought victory in this war. After the Peace of Paris was signed in 1763, France relinquished all of Canada, the Great Lakes and the upper Mississippi Valley to the British. In North America alone, British territories more than doubled.

Gradually, the English, Welsh, Scots-Irish, German, French, Irish, Swedish, Native American, and African descent cultures began to blend. Americans became culturally distinct from the English: their language, culture, and religions differed a lot. Most Americans were born here and never even visited England, the Germans were never loyal to England and the Scots-Irish had great resentment toward Great Britain. The experience of the war also did not bring the British and the Americans closer together: British troops felt haughty about colonials, since Americans were regarded as crude and lacking culture and the pious New Englanders found the British to be profane. The American colonists started to feel closer to each other. The first sign of unity, commonality or even nationalism was seen when settlers from all thirteen colonies fought together.