Seven Years War

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The first war with a truly global area of conflict, the Seven Years War pitted Great Britain, Prussia and Hanover against France, Austria, Russia, Sweden, and Saxony. A force from the neutral Netherlands was even attacked in India. Continental battles were largely draws and boundaries were returned to pre-war places in the Treaty of Hubertusburg.

Great Britain battled France across India, North America, Europe, the Carribean isles, and coastal Africa. During the 1750's up to 1763, Great Britain gained enormous areas of land and influence at the expense of the French. Robert Clive ran the French from India, and James Wolfe crushed the French and so conquered Canada (New France). The English returned most French Caribean islands at the end of the war but kept Canada. These islands produced great quantities of sugar which England already had access to on their own islands but which the French considered more valuable than the vast, mostly unsettled lands of Canada. The British-French hostilities were ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

In North America, this conflict was known as the French and Indian War. Many of the Indians (Native Americans/First Nations) sided with France although some did fight with the British.

Of course, the name Seven Years War refers only to the seven-year European phase of the conflict, not the nine-year North American conflict or the Indian campaigns which lasted 15 years.