How Much Do You Know About the French and Indian War?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

In the 1700s, wars were often named for the royalty who ordered them to be fought, like Queen Anne’s War. During this violent conflict of the 1750s, though, we Westerners mostly know the fight as being named for the enemies of the British Crown – it was the French and Indian War, a series of battles that had very high stakes for the New World.

Do you know which two major nations faced off in the French and Indian War, and why they decided to take up arms against one another? Were they fighting for gold, slaves … or something else altogether?

The French and Indian War was heavily stacked against one side at the beginning. How did the French balance the scales in their favor? And why did it take so long for the British to really take this war seriously?

British colonists played a major role in combat operations. One man, in particular, became a giant among humans thanks to the skills he honed during combat. Who was it? Later, he used his leadership to play an even bigger role in a more violent war.

The French and Indian War was an offshoot of a sprawling conflict – can you name the wider war? In the end, this little North American battle would lay the groundwork for world-shaking events. Gather your Minie balls, sharpen your bayonet and steel your gaze. Let’s see if you can survive our French and Indian War quiz!

The French and Indian War is also known as what?

In the 1750s, Europe exploded into a massive conflict called the Seven Years' War, a war that eventually spread to five continents. The North American theater of that war is called the French and Indian War.


The French and Indian War pitted which two world powers against one another?

France and Britain, perennial enemies, were at odds with each other once again. It also featured many Native American tribes, and the American colonists, too.


True or false, did the French and Indian War take place BEFORE the American Revolution?

The French and Indian War occurred from 1756 to 1763. It ended just in time for colonists to take up arms against England and start the Revolution.


American colonists fought on which side of the war?

French colonists fought with France; British colonists (the Americans) fought with Britain. And the Native Americans fought on both sides.


Why did the French lean on the Native Americans for a lot of their manpower as compared with the British?

There were millions of British colonists in the New World, but the French people numbered in the tens of thousands. Totally outnumbered, the French relied on the Indians for labor and war.


Where did most of the fighting take place?

The fighting mostly occurred in the Northeast, along the coasts and north in the areas around Newfoundland.


The famed Iroquois Indians fought on which side?

The Iroquois, who were a powerful tribe in the northeast, occasionally took up arms on the side of the British. On both sides, support from the Indians fluctuated depending on the circumstances.


Who fired the opening shots of the war?

Just 22 years old at the time, George Washington was a lieutenant colonel with the British colonial forces, and his men ambushed a French unit. The event marked the start of the Seven Years' War, which eventually became a global war.


What's one reason the French and British were at odds with each other?

The two countries were constantly squabbling over territory and natural resources. The French claimed the Ohio River Valley area for themselves, a fact that didn't sit well with the British.


What were European settlements in North America like in the 1750s?

Once you got away from the East Coast, white settlements became sparser and smaller, and Indians tribes controlled large areas of land. Colonists and traders created alliances with the local tribes, which often held great power.


In July 1954, George Washington's men fought the Battle of Fort Necessity. Who won?

The French drove the British colonial forces to a withdrawal. It was the first (and only) time that George Washington would ever conduct a military surrender.


How did the French manage to convince Indians to fight on their side?

The French had already been trapping for many years in North America and had made lots of local connections. When war broke out, the French leveraged their existing relationships to convince the Indians to join the fray.


At the start of the war, how many regular French troops were there in North America?

When the bullets started flying, there were no French troops anywhere on the continent, and there were precious few British regulars. Colonial militias did some of the first fighting.


How did Britain react to the start of hostilities during the late 1750s?

As hostilities slowly worsened, the British effort in the colonies was stuck in neutral. Why? British people were more concerned about conflict in Europe. So Britain was very slow to ramp up its forces in the New World.


General Edward Braddock led British forces to the Battle of the Monongahela (Battle of the Wilderness), and rejected assistance from local Indians. Why?

Braddock haughtily dismissed potential Indian allies as "savages," and told them to go away, thinking he had more than enough men to beat the French. Turns out, he was very, very wrong.


In 1755, at the Battle of the Monongahela, British General Edward Braddock was shot from his horse. Who took control of the situation?

With Braddock out of commission, the young Washington maintained some semblance of order in the ranks. It was the beginning of the legend of George Washington and his brave leadership style.


The Battle of the Monongahela was a disaster for the British. How many of its 1,300 troops were killed during the battle?

The Battle of the Monongahela was a slaughter. The French and Indians killed more than 450 of the British colonial troops amassed for the fight -- the rest, like Washington, were lucky to escape with their lives.


What role did William Pitt play during the war?

Pitt was the British Secretary of State. In the early war, he recognized that Britain needed to increase its commitment to beating the French, otherwise the British would lose their grip on North America.


By 1958, thanks largely to William Pitt's efforts, how many British troops were there in North America?

Pitt drastically increased British military presence in North America. By 1758, there were about 50,000 troops and militiamen available to take the fight to the French and their Indian allies.


How did Britain's professional soldiers regard their colonial militia counterparts?

British regulars often looked down on colonial militias, feeling they were a nuisance in many situations. The colonists, on the other hand, felt as if they sometimes outperformed the British.


How did the French approach their interactions with local Indians?

The French knew they were outnumbered, but they were adept at Indian relationships -- where the British sneered at Indian warriors, the French embraced them and convinced them to fight for their cause.


In 1757, what transpired at Fort William Henry?

A large contingent of French and Indian forces laid siege to Fort William Henry. After just a few days, the British realized they had no hope, so they surrendered.


The French accepted the British surrender at Fort William Henry, and allowed troops to leave the fort. Then what happened?

As the beaten British were shuffling out of the fort, the Indians decided to attack. They also killed women and children, and killed wounded soldiers, too.


After the battle at Fort William Henry, Indians departed for their home tribes. They inadvertently took _____ with them.

The Indians, having served the French allies, left Fort William Henry for their homes. But what they didn't know was that smallpox had infiltrated their ranks … and they spread the deadly disease to their families, devastating their tribes.


French Canadians often use what name for the war?

In Canada, French Canadians still refer to the conflict as The War of Conquest, because Britain captured Canada and added it to the Empire's territorial holdings.


Why is the conflict often called the "Seven Years' War"?

The larger war is often called the Seven Years' War. The reason is simple -- the was lasted for seven years, with a peace treaty signed in 1763.


By the war's end, how did George Washington's legend affect his fellow colonists?

Washington's heroics during the war dramatically elevated his political standing … and his military prowess demonstrated to other colonists that they wielded some degree of power in world affairs. Maybe, they thought, they didn't necessarily have to languish under the thumbs of the British until the end of time.


The British won the Battle of Fort Frontenac, a fact that had which major consequence?

At the Battle of Fort Frontenac, the British gained control of the St. Lawrence River area … meaning that France no longer had the means to resupply its remote outposts. Slowly but surely, the tide was turning in favor of the British.


In September 1760, the British moved to capture which French city?

In the fall of 1760, British troops captured Montreal without firing a shot. It was the end of the war.


What was a consequence of the British victory?

With victory secured, the British (and their colonists) had a more open path for westward expansion. There was a New World to be explored, and the Americans would be just the people for the job.


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