The French and Indian wars are a range of conflicts which happen in the North America between 1680 -1763. However, the French and Indian war occurred between 1754 and 1763. Several factors resulted in these wars, but the most common cause was the desire for each nation to take control of interior colonies of North America. Taking control of these colonies meant that these countries had a good chance to dominate the fur trade. Looking at the events that transpired during this period provokes me to think that the European colonization of the North America was a conquest, invasion, and genocide. I tend to believe that the American Revolution was not morally justifiable. In this article, we will discuss the French and Indian war, the language lessons of diplomacy, and attempts of diplomatic balance during the colonial period.
The French and Indian war was majorly a contest between Britain and imperial France for control over the lucrative territories in North America. The events that contributed to this war had their origin in the trade with the Native Americans. However, before we discuss the war, it is crucial that we understand how the Europeans entered the North America. The natives were the first individuals to interact with the European explorers when their ships landed in America. But the Indians played a major role in the Europeans survival in the North America. In fact, during the first year of Europeans stay the Indians would bring corn, freshly caught fowls, and deer for them to feast on. The Indians taught the Europeans ways and techniques of surviving in the new habitat including how to navigate from place to place over land and by water, how to identify toxic berries and plants, how tan hides used for clothing and how to find their food. Native Americans were creative, and they adapted to different settings. They often found ways to live in the oceans, and in forests. The natives, on the other hand, were productive farmers and great hunters and they also taught the Europeans how to hunt and to survive in America. Before the Europeans arrived, the natives had limited technology, and they only concentrated on essential things in life such as getting food. When Native Americans were introduced to the Europeans foreign religious ideas, labor, education, and economic systems they incorporated them into their culture. It is evident that the Native Americans the Europeans as allies, in fact in some parts of the North America such as Canada the French were even advocating for inter-racial marriages. The natives had no reason to suspect the imminent horrors.
The fur trade was one of the most fundamental industries in the North America, and it played a key role in the development of Canada and the United States. The main agenda that drove the French to enter the North America was the need to gain wealth through the fur trade. French traders saw the Indians as trading colleagues who will help them acquire the furs the interior parts of the North America. In fact, they would even learn Indian languages, marry Indian women and dressed like Indians so that they can be successful. The Indians traded furs for goods such as weapons and tools. This is because Native Indians wanted tools such as knives and axes for their hunting. They also traded furs for Guns, but the Indians never used guns they preferred bows and arrows because of the precision. Europeans knew that beaver fur could be used to design high hats and felts. Deerskins were also part of the fur trade. However, it was not as valuable as the furs. The duties played by women in the fur trade were incredibly distributed. Women were used as figures for political diplomacy as various tribes attempted to forge an intertribal and internal relationship. Therefore traders made deals with indigenous women by exchanging goodies with their families. Other traders married these women to be a part of the tribal communities and most notably to achieve success in their economic endeavors. Moreover, indigenous women in fur trade continued to use their indigenous techniques to produce food and other durable commodities such as footwear, blankets, and clothing which in turn played a huge role in the survival of the fur traders.
In focusing on these components of the French and Indian war, my objective is neither to discount its consequences nor condemn all aspirations of the Europeans. Of course, some positives came out of these wars. However, we can distinguish them from the horror and brutality of the European colonization. The standard version of the North American history ignores the plight of the oppressed societies. I believe the group that suffered the most as a result of the French and Indian war was the Native Americans whose kindness and hospitality was repaid by slaughter and deception. The African Americans were made to work as slaves. The fact that People of color were chosen to be the Slaves and no other groups shows that racism is learned and that no one was born a racist. I mean how can it be possible for someone to consider someone inferior simply because they were born with a different color of skin? It is the parents, culture, and society who teaches them otherwise.
European Immigrants came to the inhabited region of North America, where there were a lot of Natives dwelling there. They legitimately owned their land, and some societies had even gone ahead and cultivated their lands. The Europeans wanted to acquire lands in the North America however they didnt consider agreements with Native Americans since they believed that governments in Europe had the power to allocate land anywhere in the world without considering the indigenous communities. They saw the Native Americans as the obstacles which were hindering them from achieving what they wanted. The British government particularly did not show any consideration for the rights of the Native Americans in its processes in the North America. But the Natives fought for their land until death not for imperialism, greed, or, money but for the love of their culture, integrity and true freedom. Indeed history is written by the victor.
In conclusion, the moral lesson we learn from the occurrences of French and Indian war is that all human beings are capable of demonstrating kindness, nurture, and goodness towards others and it is possible to make a difference every single day in our dealings, treaties, and contracts with others. In the end, the power of good will always beat the evil forces that tried to extinguish whatever goodness is left on this earth.
Galloway, C. G (2015). First Peoples. New Jersey: World History
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