||Before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham
This lesson corresponds to material found in:
Episode 4 Battle for a Continent
In 1755, the Acadians were deported, skirmishes put the English and French at odds in Niagara and the Ohio valley, and more and more Americans, like Benjamin Franklin, were encouraging Britain to conquer the whole continent and create one English Protestant territory.
On May 17, 1756, Britain declared war on France. Unable to defeat France in Europe, England turned its attention to North America, where it could deliver a severe blow to French settlements. At this time there were more than 600,000 British in America, as opposed to 60,000 French. The British struck first at the fortress of Louisbourg, bombarding it for two months before governor Augustin de Drucour surrendered in July of 1758, when it was too late in the season for the British to mount another attack. Among the victors was 31-year-old General James Wolfe. He was an audacious general who led the landing of British troops at Port-Royal. He was chosen to lead the attack on Quebec planned for the following year, and returned to England to receive further instructions.
The French troops and the Canadian militia were commanded by General Louis-Joseph Marquis de Montcalm, then 47. Montcalm won two important victories - one at the destruction of Fort Oswego in 1756, and at the 1758 battle of Fort Carillon, near Lake Champlain, where he managed to oust a British regiment that outnumbered his forces three to one. After this victory, Montcalm returned to Quebec for the winter.
It would be a long winter of waiting for the war to begin again in the spring.
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