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Causes of the French and Indian War. The French and Indian War began over the specific issue of whether the upper Ohio River valley was a part of the British Empire, and therefore open for trade and settlement by Virginians and Pennsylvanians, or part of the French Empire.
The French and Indian War, which took place between 1754-1763, began due to a conflict between England and France over control of the Ohio River Valley. Both sides wanted the valley so they could expand their settlements into the area.
France and its colonists and Indian allies fought against Britain, its colonists and Indian allies. The war began with conflicts about land. French explorers had been the first Europeans in the areas around the Great Lakes and the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
The war in North America settled into a stalemate for the next several years, while in Europe the French scored an important naval victory and captured the British possession of Minorca in the Mediterranean in 1756. However, after 1757 the war began to turn in favor of Great Britain.
The Netherlands and Portugal had some colonies in the New World, but their power and influence was not nearly as strong as those of the ‘big three.’ In time, Spanish intervention became centered in South America and in the southern and western parts of North America, leaving most of central North America to be fought over by the British and French.
French and Indian War/Seven Years’ War, 1754-1763. Originally intended to pressure the British into a peace agreement, the Family Compact ultimately reinvigorated the French will to continue the war, and caused the British Government to declare war on Spain on January 4, 1762 after bitter infighting between King George III’s ministers.