Academic journal article Military Review

Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

Academic journal article Military Review

Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

Article excerpt

CRUCIBLE OF WAR: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, Fred Anderson, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2000, 862 pages, $40.00.

As Winston Churchill once pointed out, the Seven Years' War was the first true world war. In fact, it was more of a global war than was World War I; the latter was waged primarily in Europe, where France, Italy, Belgium, the United States, and Britain and its Commonwealth decisively defeated the Austro-German alliance. The Seven Years' War was waged in Europe, India, Africa, the West Indies, and North America, where it was called the FrenchIndian War and where it was truly decisive.

The French-Indian War began in 1754 when a young Virginia militia officer named George Washington tried to remove a small French encampment from disputed territory on the Ohio River. It was the fourth war in North America between Britain and France. The first three ended in truces and restoration of the status quo ante bellum and, except as personal tragedies, spilled blood, and spent treasure, had no real impact on history.

Author Fred Anderson adopts a politically correct, multicultural perspective on the Seven Years' War. For example, he portrays Marquis Louis Joseph Montcalm as being guilt-stricken by the way his Indian and Canadian allies tortured prisoners and killed noncombatants. …

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