How the French and Indian War Affected the Revolutionary War

Essay by SilvahHigh School, 11th grade December 2004

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The American Revolution was built up to gradually throughout the 1700s, but the French and Indian war had a huge contribution to the American sense of individualism and liberty that led to its break from England. The French and Indian war taught the divided colonials many things that would help them in the upcoming war with England, including military experience, realization of the fallibility of England, anti-English sentiment, growth in colonial unity, the elimination of the threat that France and its Indian allies posed to the colonies. Without the contributions of the French and Indian War, the American Revolution could have been much more difficult to begin and carry out. The experiences of colonials in the French and Indian War were invaluable in their revolution, specifically in the war with England.

The colonials under George Washington gained military experience, and learned they could defeat a bigger force. In the initial conflict of the war that was only formally declared two years later, Washington was sent as a lieutenant colonel in command of around one hundred and fifty colonial militiamen in order to secure the claims of several Virginians in Ohio Valley.

They encountered a small force of French troops about forty miles from the French Fort Duquesne. After a short skirmish, the French leader was killed, and his troops retreated. This gave the colonials that fought there, including Washington, valuable experience for how warfare would be conducted in the English colonies, specifically the guerrilla style attacks that they would later use against the English in the heavily forested colonies. It also proved to the colonial militiamen that it was definitely possible to defeat a large foreign power, in this case France, which influenced the revolution against England by giving them confidence in their ability to defeat a foreign power...