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War and Revolution

Alleghenies, Spanish colonies, Treaty of Paris, French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars

As a consequence of efforts to expand westward beyond the Alleghenies, the English eventually came into conflict with the French in the Ohio Valley. In 1689 the two powers began a worldwide struggle for military and colonial supremacy. In North America the conflict was fought in four successive phases: King William's War, which lasted from 1689 to 1697; Queen Anne's War, from 1702 to 1713; King George's War, from 1744 to 1748; and the French and Indian War, from 1754 to 1763. Reverses suffered in the French and Indian War and in its European extension, the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), forced the French to capitulate. By the Treaty of Paris of 1763, France was forced to yield to Great Britain all its holdings in Canada and also all of Louisiana east of the Mississippi. France had previously ceded to Spain, its ally, New Orleans and all French territory west of the Mississippi.

The outstanding event of the two decades from 1763 to 1783 on the continent was the economic, political, and military conflict between Great Britain and its 13 colonies along the Atlantic seaboard south of Canada. Generally called the American Revolution (1775-1783), this conflict ended in the establishment of the United States of America. The success of the 13 colonies in freeing themselves from the rule of their parent country soon had repercussions among the Spanish colonies in the Americas. Inspired by their victory and also by the outcome of the French Revolution (1789-1799), and taking advantage of the involvement of Spain in the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), in 1810 the Spanish colonies in the Americas began a struggle for independence. Mexico revolted against Spain in that year but did not actually become free until 1821. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Canada also succeeded in obtaining from Britain a full degree of self-government.

Article key phrases:

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