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The three causes for the rivalry between France and Britain are the disputes that developed over land in the colonies, control of the fur trade in the colonies and over the balance of power in Europe. These causes led to war. In the end, England became the most powerful nation in the world and the mercantile system was revamped.

The wars of which I will write about are King William's War, Queen Anne's War, King George's War and the French and Indian War. England became the most powerful nation in the world because of these wars. Two wars were over who would succeed the thrones in Europe that became vacant with the deaths of the reigning monarchs.

King William's War was fought in the New World areas of the Great Lakes, Northern New England, Upper New York, the Ohio Valley and the Southern frontier. In this war, the colonists bore the brunt of the fighting. The main result of this war was that the French had moved down the Mississippi to New Orleans and built forts along the way. This effectively kept the English colonists on the coast, east of the Appalachian Mountains.

Queen Anne's and King George's War dealt with the Spanish and Austrian Successions to the thrones respectively. The areas of fighting were the southern frontier, Quebec, the Saint Lawrence River and Lake Champlain in Queen Anne's War; and in King George's War, the area of fighting was the Ohio Valley, the Great Lakes, and Nova Scotia. The results of these wars were that Britain gained possessions from France in the New World, Spain's possession of Gibraltar.

The final war, the French and Indian War, was the war in which England finally got rid of the French totally in Canada and the Mississippi, Great Lakes line. The English to their determent took Canada. The reason, the colonies now no longer were dependent upon British protection and they could expand into the continent and take over the fur trade. American expansion and independence ruined the mercantile system.

Britain became a world power and no longer could practice the policy of keeping the balance of power on the European continent. The British in an attempt to slow the colonial expansion and calm the Indians down enacted the Proclamation of 1763, which barred, temporarily, the expansion of the Colonies into the wilderness. This was also a temporary money-saving policy.

The British at first only wanted to have limited objective wars with France but because of the Americans, constant bickering with France and her Indian allies forced Britain to finally, and unequivocally destroy the French presence in North America. However, not all of the colonies wanted the wars because these wars hampered or destroyed their lucrative trade with the Indians. New York is an example. In New England, the war was a cause. The Americans wanted Canada by getting rid of the French, not England.


  1. King William's War
    This is a general history of King William's War on the Founding Fathers website. This article is from the book History of the USA by Henry William Elson.
  2. King William's War: Colonial Involvement in War between Britain and France
    In this article by Martin Kelly, you will learn about how the American Colonies became involved in this war and how it affected them.
  3. Queen Anne's War
    This article by Martin Kelly is an overview of this war.
  4. Queen Anne's War
    This article discusses the involvement and effects of the Native Americans.
  5. French and Indian War
    The U.S. Dept. of State Office of the Historian site gives us an in-depth overview of the war and its consequences.
  6. Montcalm and Wolfe This is the Classic work by Francis Parkman which focuses on the Battle on the Plains of Abraham.  A must read when you are researching this topic.  This is the Project Gutenberg edition.
  7. Secret Diplomatic History of the Eighteenth Century
    This is the project Gutenberg edition of this ebook by Karl Marx. (Note: Marx's views are DO NOT reflect the views of the 18th Century History website or its editor.)
  8. History of Diplomacy
    The Wikipedia website has this general history of Diplomacy.