What was the overall impact of the French and Indian War, specifically on Pennsylvania, and the Thirteen Colonies in general?
The French and Indian War was a war fought by proxy through Native Americans, who were forced to ally with either England or France. The war was one of a continuing chain of conflicts in North America, stretching back more than a century. [ Some wars were fought between Native Americans vs. colonists and others between the colonists of different European nations.
The French strategy was to
create trading stations to acquire furs from Native Americans, in contrast to the English strategy to flood the colony with Protestant immigrants who would be loyal to England in any fight with Spain/France. The failure of the French to establish colonies on the Atlantic seaboard south of the Saint Lawrence River, and their slow occupation of the Ohio River and Mississippi River valleys, ultimately allowed the English to gain control of the North American continent.
In 1753, the French established military bases on the southern edge of Lake Ontario and in what today is northern Pennsylvania. In late 1753, Lord Dinwiddie sent George Washington to notify Legardeur de St. Pierre at Fort de la Rivière au Boeuf that the French had encroached into territory claimed by the English. Part of the English claim to the Ohio River territory was based on the 1744 Treaty of Lancaster. After the Iroquois supposedly "sold" their claim to that land, the Ohio Company obtained a land grant to much of what is modern-day Ohio.
After Lord Dinwiddie gave Washington the assignment to travel to Fort Le Boeuf, Washington hired Christopher Gist to serve as his guide. Together with Indian allies, the two Virginians reached the French headquarters near Lake Erie (modern-day New Waterford, Pennsylvania) despite the November snow and ice.
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