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American Colonies | Kirke takes Quebec  | English Newfoundland | Phips | Treaty of Ryswick | Francis Nicholson | Treaty of Utrecht | War of Austrian Succession | Capture of Louisbourg | Treaty of Chapelle | Halifax | French Indian War | Governor Murray

The British colonies along the Atlantic coast of North America were well established by the 1730's and were growing rapidly. The natural barrier to westward expansion was the Appalachian Mountains. This ancient mountain range ran south to north from Georgia right up into the Quebec hinterland. The political barrier was the French expansion through the Great Lakes, along the Ohio valley and down the Mississippi River. The Indians had been attacking settlers, explores, the British military and any other Englishmen that crossed over this barrier since the 1600's. This territory was secured by the French by building alliances with the native people in these areas and by building forts to trade with those natives. These lands were extremely attractive to the British settlers in the colonies and as they were explored and woodsmen began to penetrate the area, passes through the mountains were discovered and trails for migration established.

The British Government began to establish forts along the boundaries of the disputed areas such as Fort Oswego, and Halifax. Various clashes between native peoples and settlers had occur beginning with the arrival of the first settlers but the outbreaks of violence had continued throughout the development and expansion of the British colonies. The British also granted lands to various ventures such as the Ohio company which was given lands in the Ohio valley. As a result of the war of Austrian Succession Britain and France met in Paris to work out an agreement as to where the boundaries between these two competing empires would be established in North America. They could not come to agreement and each empire began to take action to enforce it's claims to these native lands.

By 1752 France had sent a new Governor to New France with instructions to establish a presence in the Ohio Valley and prevent English settlement in the area. Governor Duquesne had a fort built in 1753 at Presque Island and Riviere aux Boeufs. The English under orders of the Virginia Lieutenant Governor, Robert Dinwiddie began sending settlers into the Ohio valley and commissioned a young Virginian named George Washington to deliver a letter to the French which demanded they leave the area. He failed to deliver the letter but was on the look out for favourable locations to build forts.

This began the guerrilla war which led to conventional confrontations and eventually triggered the Seven Years War.




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html