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King George's War - Research Paper Example

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The growth of animosity between British and French colonial empires in North America in the mid-18th century co-incided with the development of European conflict. The beginning of the War for Austrian Succession in 1740 did not immediately affect the relations between Great…
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27 March King George’s War (1744-1748) The growth of animosity between British and French colonial empires in North America in the mid-18th century co-incided with the development of European conflict. The beginning of the War for Austrian Succession in 1740 did not immediately affect the relations between Great Britain and France, as well as between their respective colonies; however, the hostilities between the two powers eventually broke out in 1743, and the war was formally declared in May 1744. It soon became clear that it was North America that became the key front of struggle between Great Britain and France.
The beginning of the War was initiated by bold attack on the side of the French against the British-owned fishing port of Canso that was situated in the colony of Nova Scotia. The expedition of French regular forces that was launched against this port on 24 May 1744 found it weakly prepared for any kind of siege and did not encounter any significant obstacles in overcoming the garrison’s resistance. The rapid takeover of Canso served as a warning to the denizens of North American British colonies that they were living in the state of potential insecurity vis-à-vis the impending threat of the French and their Native Indian allies.
The French forces operating from the fortress-colony of Louisbourg did not stop at this initial success and continued their onslaught against the territories of Nova Scotia. The provincial capital of Annapolis Royal became the next target for the forces comprising Mi’kmaq and Maliseet under the leadership of Jean-Louis Le Loutre, a French missionary that was extremely influential among these tribes. Fort Anne that guarded the provincial capital from any attack on the land was, however, impenetrable for the makeshift Native American force and, with the killing of two British soldiers, the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet forces withdrew from its walls.
The real result of the attack on Fort Anne that took place on 12 July 1744 was the increasing indignation of the citizens of the North American British colonies against the lack of military effort to stop the French attacks. The colonial government of Massachusetts decided to take matters in its own hands, and in the spring of 1745, with the support of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode-Island, about 1,000 colonial militiamen launched an attack against the fortress of Louisbourg that guarded the core of French possessions in North America. As the fortress was under-supplied and the French troops stationed therein lacked necessary combat spirit, the British colonials managed to overtake the defenses and seize Louisbourg with minimum casualties. The French attempt to prevent the capture of Louisbourg by the British forces was thwarted on 15 June 1745, when the troops led by Paul Marin were defeated in the engagement at Tatamagouche. Having received the news of this debacle, the French garrison of Louisbourg capitulated to the British on 28 June.
The capture of Louisbourg proved a beginning of the series of engagements and battles that culminated in the assaults by the French forces against the village of Saratoga (November 1745), where more than 100 country people were killed or taken prisoner by the French and their Native American allies, against Fort of Massachusetts itself (1746), and even the town of Schenectady deep into the territory of New York colony (1748). The results of the raids led to almost total devastation of some parts of Massachusetts and New York and the evacuation of all British settlements north of Albany.
The end of King George’s War was generally beneficial for the French side. With the exception of the capture of Fort Louisbourg by British colonial militia, the majority of sieges and battles in that campaign ended with the sweeping success for the French and their allies. According to the terms of Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Louisbourg itself was returned to its French masters. This provision was rather unfavorably perceived by the Colonial public opinion, because it indicated that the British government did not acknowledge the contributions by its Colonial subjects to the overall war effort. In the end, though, the outcome of the War did not satisfy any side, and the hostilities were resumed in 1754.
Bibliography
Parmenter, Jon and Robinson, Mark Power. “The Perils and Possibilities of Wartime Neutrality on the Edges of Empire: Iroquois and Acadians between the French and British in North America, 1744–1760.”Diplomatic History 31.2 (2007): 167-206. Web. 26 March 2012. < http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-7709.2007.00611.x/pdf> .
Sosin, Jack M. “Louisbourg and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748.” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser. 14.4 (1957): 516-535. Web. 26 March 2012. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/1918519>.
Wall, Jr., Robert Emmett. “Louisbourg, 1745.” New England Quarterly 37.1 (1964): 64-83. Web. 26 March 2012. < http://www.jstor.org/stable/363191>. Read More
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