Why did France and Britain go to war in 1754?

The first skirmish of the French and Indian War (1754-1763), occurred when a small force under George Washington engaged and defeated a reconnaissance party of French and Indians near Fort Duquesne. Washington erected Fort Necessity at nearby Great Meadows and eventually surrendered to French forces. The dispute was over the boundary between New France - that territory claimed by France east of the Mississippi River- and the seaboard British colonies in America The European counterpart to the French and Indian War began officially between France and England on May 15, 1756, when the latter made a formal declaration of war.

Actually, fighting had been going on in America for two years. The war involved all the major European powers and was worldwide in scope, but to the colonists it was a struggle against the French for control of North America. The war did not go well for England until the elder William Pitt came to power in 1756. He concentrated on fighting the French and sent badly needed troop reinforcements to North America Britain won Canada and the rest of "New France" in the Treaty of Paris 1763 During the French and Indian War in 1755, British General Edward Braddock was mortally wounded when he and his force of British troops and colonial militia were caught in a French and Indian ambush.

Braddock had just crossed the Monongahela River on his way to attack Fort Duquesne, on the site of what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Braddock died July 13, 1755, and George Washington assumed command of the retreating army.

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