Despite such a formidable alliance, British naval power and Spanish inefficiency led to British success. British troops conquered French Caribbean islands, Spanish Cuba and the Philippines. Fighting in Europe ended after the failed Spanish invasion by British ally Portugal. In 1763, French and Spanish diplomats began to seek peace. In the resulting Treaty of Paris (1763), Britain made significant territorial gains in North America, including any French territory east of the Mississippi River and Spanish Florida, although the treaty returned Cuba to Spain. Unfortunately for the British, the fruits of victory caused problems with the British American colonies. The war had been extremely costly, and attempts by the British government to impose taxes on the colonists to cover these expenses led to growing colonial resentment against British attempts to extend imperial authority in the colonies. British attempts to limit Western expansion by colonists and the unwitting provocation of a major Indian War angered British subjects living in the American colonies. These disputes eventually led to a colonial rebellion, which eventually turned into a full-scale war of independence. The war did not start well for the British. The British government sent General Edward Braddock to the colonies as commander-in-chief of British and North American forces, but he alienated potential Indian allies and colonial rulers did not cooperate with him. 13.
Braddock died in July 1755 after being mortally wounded in an ambush during a failed expedition to capture Fort Duquesne in present-day Pittsburgh. The war in North America remained at an impasse for the following years, while in Europe the French won an important naval victory and conquered the British possession of Menorca in the Mediterranean in 1756. After 1757, however, the war began to turn in Britain`s favor. British forces defeated French forces in India, and in 1759 British armies invaded and captured Canada. Faced with a defeat in North America and a weak position in Europe, the French government tried to involve the British in the peace negotiations, but British minister William Pitt (the Elder), Minister of Southern Affairs, sought not only the French cession of Canada, but also trade concessions that the French government deemed unacceptable. After these negotiations failed, King Charles III of Spain offered to come to the aid of his cousin, the Frenchman King Louis XV, and their representatives signed an alliance known as the Family Pact on August 15, 1761. The terms of the treaty stipulated that Spain would declare war on Great Britain if the war did not end before May 1, 1762. Initially intended to push the British towards a peace agreement, the Family Pact eventually revived the French will to continue the war and prompted the British government to declare war on Spain on January 4, 1762, after fierce internal fighting between King George III`s ministers.
The French and Indian War resulted from persistent border tensions in North America, as imperial officials and French and British colonists sought to expand each country`s sphere of influence in the border regions. In North America, war between the France, French settlers and their Indigenous allies led against Britain, Anglo-American settlers, and the Iroquois Confederacy, which controlled most of New York State and parts of northern Pennsylvania. In 1753, before hostilities broke out, Britain controlled all 13 colonies up to the Appalachians, but behind them was New France, a very large, sparsely populated colony stretching from Louisiana to Canada through the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes. (See Incidents Before the French and Indian War and the Albany Plan) The French and Indian War was the North American conflict in a larger imperial war between Great Britain and France known as the Seven Years` War. The French and Indian War began in 1754 and ended in 1763 with the Treaty of Paris. The war brought Britain enormous territorial gains in North America, but disputes over subsequent border policy and payment of war costs led to colonial discontent and ultimately the American Revolution. The boundary between the French and the British possessions was not clearly defined, and one disputed territory was the upper Ohio River Valley. The French had built a number of forts in this area to strengthen their claim to the territory. British colonial troops, led by Lieutenant-Colonel George Washington, attempted to expel the French in 1754, but were outnumbered and defeated by the French. When news of Washington`s failure reached British Prime Minister Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle, he called for swift and unexplained retaliation.
However, his opponents in the cabinet foiled him by making the plans public, alerting the French government, and escalating a skirmish on the distant border into full-scale war.