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U.S. History/7 years war and american revolution


Hi, i'm taking a western civ class and I've been stuck on this part for a while now...
How did the Colonies get dragged into the 7 years war?
Why was the French and Indian War the catalyst for the American Revolution?
What were the differences between the American Revolution as to the French Revolution?


The Colonies did not get dragged into the 7 years war.  Rather, France and England got dragged into the war as a result of border disputes between the English colonies in America and the French colonies in Canada.  The War broke into open fighting when an young militia officer from Virginia named George Washington ambushed a group of French soldiers in the disputed territory.  Once the war started, France and England had to get more involved to defend their respective colonies.  The war then spread to other areas of their empires.

Up until the French and Indian War, Britain had refrained from imposing much of any taxes on the colonies.  This was in part because the colonies were not developed enough to have strong economies that could be taxed.  The favorable treatment also encouraged more colonists to settle in the area, thus strengthening Britain's claims to the area.  However, once the war ended, Britain had undisputed control of most of North America (other than some weakly held Spanish colonies to the south).  It was not as concerned about foreign encroachment.  In addition, the Colonies had well developed economies by this time.  The British thought it reasonable that colonial taxes be levied to pay for the war costs incurred to defend them.  The colonies were immediately concerned that without representation in Parliament, Britain would simply use them as a piggy bank any time it needed money, bleeding away most of their wealth, as England had already done to Scotland and Ireland.  This dispute eventually led to the Revolution.

The main difference between the American and French Revolutions was that in America, the colonial elites were leading the Revolution.  Once British rule was removed, the socio-economic structure that had existed pre-revolution remained in place.  The elites simply did not have British control in their way any more.  In France, the Revolution was more class oriented.  The common people sought to overthrown and destroy the aristocratic and clerical groups that had controlled them for centuries.  They sought to created a completely new order of society and economics.

- Mike  

U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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