- Early Wars

Pontiac Rebellion
: Pontiac was an Ottawa chief attributed with leading the Indian uprising against the British
When: 1763-1764
What: Tribes including the Senecas, Mingos, Delawares, Shawnees, Wyandots, Miamis, and Ottawas united together to rise against the British. They hoped to push settlers back to the eastern seaboard
Cause: the North American Indians were displeased with the British victory in the French and Indian War/Seven Year’s (1754-1763). They were unhappy with British policies and tired of dependence on the settlers. In addition, many Indians believed that God was punishing them for accepting European ways.
Why: exacerbated Indian-British relations and inspired the Proclamation of 1763 which prohibited further colonial expansion. The Proclamation was intended to prevent the colonists from encroaching upon Indian lands unless the land had been previously purchased through treaty.
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- Enlightenment


- The Great Awakening -

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A dramatic force took colonial society by storm in the 1730's & '40's. There was a movement among masses of people (characterized by fervent expressions of religious feeling) from the sermons of the first dreary decades of the 18th century when Protestant churches stressed intellectual discussion, and depicted God as the benevolent architect of a grand design. The Great Awakening brought less emphasis than in Puritan times on mortal sin and imminent damnation.

Figures of the Great Awakening

Rev. Jonathan Edwards of the Congregational church in Northampton, MA set off the Great Awakening with his Jeremiads (sermons lamenting the inevitable damnation of human beings; e.g. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," 1741). He stressed that God was rightfully angered by human sinfulness, and that the only way to be saved from God’s wrath/by God’s grace was to express penitence.
Coming from England (1739),
and traveled throughout all of the colonies, rousing people
with his sermons on the ordeals and anguish of those damned to hell, George Whitefield was a celebrity of the Great Awakening. He preached in a variety of venues (barns, tent, fields, etc.), attracted audiences up to 10,000 people , proclaimed that the way to save one’s soul was to declare one’s belief in Jesus Christ, & believed that ministers were unnecessary middlemen

Religious Impact

Emotionalism became part of Protestant services, & ministers lost some of their former authority. The Great Awakening caused schism within churches (ex: Congregational and Presbyterian)- between those supporting and those condemning its teachings (the “New Lights” and the “Old Lights”). Evangelical sects (e.g. Baptists, Methodists, etc.) caused greater competition to attract followers (for they had the largest body of followers), increased religious diversity, & a call for separation of church & state. ---

Political Influence

The Great Awakening affected every section, every single American social class- it was a shared/common experience regardless of origin. Perhaps it even had a democratizing effect/undertones of one; the Great Awakening changed way people saw authority (common people no longer needed ministers, so did they still need to defer to a “higher authority” [a.k.a. the Big Guy back in England] for political decisions as well?)


- French and Indian War

Called the Seven Years War in Europe and The French and Indian War in the United States, it lasted from 1756 to 1763. The British and colonists fought together on one side against the French and Indians on the other.


Traditional Conflict

Course of the War

Albany Plan of the Union
Declaration of War
Treaty of Paris


Political Views
Economic Needs



While technically the French already owned the land fought over during the war, the British and the Colonists took itexternal image kckfrench-era-1634-1763.png.
The British claimed they felt that the French provoked the war by building forts in the Ohio River Valley. In response to the expansion of French forts, the governor of Virginia sent George Washington and a small group of militia to confront the French.
However, the Ohio River was a fertile area rich with fur. It would be a good place to settle and farm for colonists.
Thus the war began....


Both sides wanted the trade with the Indians, the cheap furs and other goods that could be obtained from them. However, the Indians had sided with the French, who had treated them better in the past and were not taking their land. When they had no choice however, they would trade with whomever they could.

Traditional Conflict:

Britain and France had fought each other many times over the years, and tension remained from these old encounters.
Meanwhile in Europe three empires were at war: Great Britain, France, and Spain. There were a series of wars, including King William's War (1689-1697), Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), and King George's War (1744-1748) that reflected the bitter tension between the French and British.
This meant that the war which occurred in America was only a continuation of these previous wars, a further sign of the problems between the two nations.

Course of the War:

The first battle of the war was in 1754 in the Ohio Valley. With conflicts in the area such as at Fort Necessity, Fort Duquesne, and Fort Cumberland, some colonists met to try and come up with a way to end the fighting.

Albany Plan of the Union:

The Albany Plan of the Union was Benjamin Franklin's attempt to unify the colonies into a loose confederation that would elect one leader and fight against the French and Indians. His plan provided for intercolonial government that would have a system for recruiting troops and collecting taxes for common defense. However, his prescient plan was rejected by every single colony because they feared losing their autonomous taxation powers (thus proving they were not truly 'Americans' yet.) This prompted dear Mr. Franklin to publish an article in Pennsylvania advocating the Albany Plan warning the people to "JOIN OR DIE."
Benjamin Franklin's ideas were 20 years ahead of his time, and the meeting was deemed so unimportant that some colonies did not even send representatives - for those in the South, it was deemed to far to be worth the effort.

Declaration of War:

external image image?id=62146&rendTypeId=4 War was declared formally in 1756, and though the colonists and British fought on the same side, they fought quite differently. Colonials fought like Indians, while the British fought in formation and got slaughtered. Their different styles on and off the field - for the British were quite formal off the field - created tensions between the two allies.

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Treaty of Paris:

In 1763 the war ended with a Treaty of Paris.
The French lost Canada, India, and claims to lands east of the MIssissippi River
The Spanish received all lands West of the Mississippi River and New Orleans but forced to cede Florida to Great Britain
The English claimed French lands in Canada, rights to the slave trade in the Caribbean, and commercial dominance in India

India was important to the English because they obtained easy access to the Caribbean.
While the French lost their land technically, they did not leave the area, and because they were not settlers, no one cared.


The French and Indian War altered relationships between the British and the colonists by changing political views, economic needs, and the underlying ideology present in the people. This began the move towards independence.

Political Views:

Previously, the policy of the English Government towards the colonies had been one of salutary neglect, but with a large debt and unsatisfied political groups abounding, this had to change. The Iroquois Confederacy had spoken up, claiming their land and insisting the settlers be removed from it. The colonists themselves also wanted England to create a group to treat with the Indians. Because this was not resolved, and a rebellion was started, the King created the Proclamation Line of 1763.
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However, the settlers wanted to be able to use the land they had fought for, even though there were already people living there. When the King stated the land off limits, the colonists ignored his decree. As one people the colonists disobeyed their king, even though they still believed themselves loyal to him. The colonists also began to question Britian. During the war, the British armies fought with a different style than the colonists, and lost many lives. The military discipline was also stricter. However, this did not prove beneficial during the war. On the other hand, the British did not think the colonists fought well. The colonists had learned to fight like the Indians did, and lacked discipline. This created further tension between the two people, who were beginning to grow apart. These new circumstances culminated with the change from salutary neglect. After the war, it seemed more like a dictatorship to the colonists. This continued as taxes were raised, restrictive Acts passed, and overall, England took more control of her colonies.

Economic Needs:

While the colonies had always paid taxes to England, the war created a large debt. This caused the England's need for revenue to increase. Though the taxes raised from the colonies did not go far towards the debt, they seemed stringent to the colonists. England believed more taxes to be necessary, as well as stricter regulations on America's trade. However, the colonists did not want to pay, though the debt was incurred while defending them. Another economic change was that Britain now owned more land. The colonists wanted the land, and the furs it held, but were restricted by the Proclamation Line. This increased tensions and seemed unfair to the colonists, and marked the end of the use of salutary neglect as a British policy with the colonies.


Though England had always been paternally responsible for the colonies, after the war the colonists could see that England did not always know best. To the colonists, the English had fought stupidly and had needless rituals. It also bonded the colonists who had fought together, won together, and now had to suffer under the English together. The English expected the colonists to pay them more money, but would grant no more land. And, by 1765, had still not responded to a petition of grievances. The colonists also had to listen to complaints by the British about how they had fought, despite the colonists view that they themselves had fought well. Combined, this changed the colonists form seeing England as a powerful, protective motherland to an over-reaching, over-bearing nation that had too much control to care about the people themselves.

Because of this, the war changed many lives. It led to the development of more tension between the two groups, created a massive debt that someone had to pay, and began to change the relationship between the colony and the motherland.By ending salutary neglect, which had lasted for the lifespan of most of the colonists, the English Government began to take more control of the colonies. The war, its' debt, and its' aftermath united the colonies and helped the colonists believe in themselves.