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The Battle for America: The French and Indian War

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2287
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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A View of the Taking of Quebec, 1797 engraving (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

In all the centuries of wars fought between the European superpowers before 1740, North America had never been more than a sideshow. But that changed in 1756 as it took center stage in the world’s first truly global war. The conflict was one so massive that it spanned seven years and five continents: from India to Indiana, the Caribbean to Canada, Buenos Aires to Belgium, and Pennsylvania to the Philippines. In Europe and nearly everywhere else, the bitter contest among the great empires of Britain, France, and Spain is called the Seven Years War, while in in the United States it’s known as the French and Indian War.

Richard Bell, a professor of history at the University of Maryland, focuses on the parts of this global conflict that took place on American soil. He tracks the shifting fortunes of the several European forces, as well as their Indigenous and colonial American allies. He examines the peace treaty that Britain and France finally signed in 1763 to bring this destructive war to an end, a treaty that surrendered French Canada to the British and forced the French out of North America.

Bell also examines the peculiar legacy of the American colonists’ involvement: Their participation reinforced a sense of themselves as essential partners in the British Empire, but also sowed the seeds of the imperial crisis that would culminate in American independence just 20 years later.

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