The Seven Years War (1756-1763) engaged all of the major
European powers of the day and overflowed into their colonies
abroad. The war was really a succession of several wars that had
occurred since the 1730s regarding the control of colonies, of
trade, and of the sea.1
The conflict that led to the Seven Years War began at Fort
Duquesne in the Ohio Valley where a small French detachment was
attacked by colonists and British troops who wished to control
the Allegheny Mountains in order to establish a land
exploitation company. The French units retaliated, defeating and
humiliating the British, of whom one of the colonial officers
was George Washington. When the British heard of this in their
own country, they sent two regiments to attack the various
colonies of New France, and two additional regiments were raised
from the American colonies.
The escalation led to all out war which broke out across
Europe; the British being allied with the Prussians, whom they
financed. The British concentrated on the war in the colonies
and on sea, and in North America gained control of Fort
Duquesne, Louisbourg, and Quebec (in 1759).
The Peace treaty was signed in 1763, and the French
relinquished all rights to North America east of the Mississippi
River. Following the conquest of New France, the fur trade was
disrupted for a few years.