Nothern America

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade September 2001

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The conflict between England and France is age-old and the animosity between the people of the two nations was intense. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the nations had fought sporadic wars in both Europe and the colonies. Montcalm, newly promoted to major-general, arrived in Canada just as the war that was to become known as the Seven Years' War was declared. He found New France in an unstable condition. The governor-general, and highest official of the colony, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, had allowed corruption and injustice to pervade all aspects of life in New France. Indeed, Vaudreuil "had not the force of character which his position demanded, lacked decision in times of crisis; and although tenacious of authority, was more jealous in asserting it than self-reliant in exercising it Moreover, Vaudreuil resented Montcalm's arrival, for he had wished to lead the French army personally. He had even written to the court saying that there was no need to send a replacement for the late Baron Dieskau.

Thus, merely by accepting his assignment to fight in Canada, Montcalm had made a powerful enemy who strove to undermine his authority at every opportunity.

The two men differed drastically in opinion about military tactics. After assessing the skills of the Canadian militia and the natives that had allied with the French army, Montcalm wished to play a defensive role in the war, while Vaudreuil favoured an aggressive offensive on the English. Indeed, Montcalm's opinions seemed prudent when the small population of New France was compared to the population of New England, which was almost twice as large. Montcalm assessed the abilities of his men with a keen eye, had great faith in the abilities of his French regulars, and saw that the Canadians and natives would be far superior in guerilla...