The French and Indian War
People from Europe began coming to America to live in the 17th Century. Spain, France, Sweden, Holland, and England claimed land.
The first French settlement was Quebec, in 1603. It was a large settlement but little more than a trading center, like most other French settlements.
The first permanent settlement in North America was the English colony at Jamestown, in 1607, in what is now Virginia. John Smith and company had come to stay. The Pilgrims followed, in 1620, and set up a colony at Plymouth, in what is now Massachusetts.
Other English colonies sprang up all along the Atlantic coast, from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. France, meanwhile, was taking control of most of eastern Canada. Swedish and Dutch colonies took shape in and around what is now New York.England forced Sweden and Holland out of the picture in one way or another. Soon, English interests came into conflict with French interests. Disputes arose over the Ohio Territory and parts of Canada. War was approaching.
At first glance, it looked like a mismatch. English troops outnumbered French troops almost 2-to-1. English colonies had their own militias and produced their own food. French settlements had to rely on soldiers hired by fur-trading companies and food from the homeland.
On the other hand, French forces were controlled by a single government and had settlements that were close together and, therefore, more easily defended. Each English colony had its own assembly government, and the colonies often argued with one another over simple things.
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