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The French and Indian war was only a small part of the long English-French quarrel, but it was a time when the colonies were still definitely colonies. The British won, but a large French contingent remained behind in Canada. In a sense, the line of demarcation along the Appalachians, while well-intended to keep the colonies from settling Indian land, defined the self-interest of the Colonies as conflicting with British self-interest. This was an unstable four-way arrangement destined to fail in some way, as the Indian interest was to keep the white colonization from spreading, but acknowledged the continued settlements of the European colonists within two East-coast clusters, mostly English but with a stable French cluster around Quebec. Trying to pacify all groups, they antagonized all four. England won the right to decide things, but their attention was really still focused elsewhere. You might say the Revolution of 1776 was to some degree an effort to make a readjustment. Unfortunately, mercantilism was the wrong choice for them in this muddle.
Originally published: Tuesday, August 27, 2019; most-recently modified: Thursday, August 29, 2019