War and Conflict


How did the British come to control much of North America during colonial times?

British and French explorers laid claim to many parts of what is now the United States. During the late 1600s and into the mid-1700s, the two European powers fought a series of four wars in their struggle for control of territory in North America. Three of the wars broke out in Europe before they spread to America, where British and French colonists fought King William’s War (1689–97), Queen Anne’s War (1702–13), and King George’s War (1744–48). King William’s War saw no gains for either side. After Queen Anne’s War, however, both sides signed the Treaty of Utrecht, in which France ceded Newfoundland, Acadia, and the Hudson Bay territory to Britain.

The struggle between England and France was not settled until a fourth war, the French and Indian War (1754–63), from which Britain emerged the victor.


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