Why were the British unsuccessful in the early years of the French and Indian war? What developments caused the tide to turn?

Essay by NoTTiNzZzHigh School, 10th grade April 2005

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The French and Indian War started in 1754 when George Washington's

militia fired the first shots at Fort Duquesne. The war began and

victory looked meek for the British for many reasons. The colonies

were disorganized and many jealousies and disputes arose among them.

In addition the colonies' governors quarreled with their assemblies.

The colonies saw themselves, at the time, as trading economic

colonies, not an empire or nation. There was no need or want for a

military and military organization. The British colonies were unfit to

carry out an offensive war. Soon courageous, fearless and heroic

generals like Pitt, Amherst, and Wolfe helped turn the tide for the


In 1754, George Washington led his army of 150 Virginia militiamen to

Fort Duquesne. The French leader there was killed and his men

retreated. They later returned with reinforcements and surrounded

Washington at Fort Necessity. After a ten hour siege, he was forced to

surrender his entire command.

However, he was permitted to march his

men away with the honors of war. In 1755, the British returned to Fort

Duquesne. Haughty and bullheaded General Braddock led an army of 2000

men. They moved slowly, dragging heavy artillery. They were soon met

by a small French and Indian army. Braddock's army was defeated and

Braddock himself was wounded. This defeat left the British frontier

naked and susceptible to attack. The French smelled victory.

At Britain's darkest hour, a hero emerged by the name of William

Pitt. Instead of attacking forts, Pitt aimed to attack cities which

equipped the forts with supplies. Pitt first dispatched an army

against Louisbourg in 1758. After a long siege, Louisbourg fell to the

British. Quebec was next on Pitt's list. For this crucial mission,

Pitt sent James Wolfe to take Quebec. The French under the...