IV. The Early Modern Period, 1500–1800 > I. North America, 1500–1789 > 4. Wars of England with France and Spain, 1651–1763
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
4. Wars of England with France and Spain, 1651–1763
The British Navigation Laws. These applied mercantilist doctrine to colonial trade. The Act of 1651, designed to strike a blow at Dutch shipping, required that colonial products be shipped to England in ships of Great Britain or the plantations. This law was reenacted in 1660, with the additional provision that certain enumerated articles of colonial production could be shipped only to England. The Staple Act of 1663 required that articles of European production destined for the colonies must be shipped first to England. The Act of 1673 imposed intercolonial duties on sugar, tobacco, and other products.  1
The Hudson's Bay Company incorporated and given a monopoly of the trade in Hudson's Bay Basin.  2
KING WILLIAM'S WAR, with France. This was the American phase of the general war against Louis XIV known as the War of the League of Augsburg (see (See 1688–97)). The French were aided by the Indians of Canada and Maine, while the Iroquois supported the English.  3
A Board of Commissioners for Trade and Plantations was organized (1696) and a navigation act of the same year was designed to prevent further evasion of earlier regulations. Since the war with France had interrupted the usual trade, the New Englanders had taken up manufacturing. The Woolens Act (1698) forbade the colonists to ship wool or woolen products from one colony to another.  4
QUEEN ANNE'S WAR, the American phase of the War of the Spanish Succession (See 1701–14). In 1702 the English plundered and burned St. Augustine in Florida, while in 1704 the French and Indians surprised Deerfield in the Connecticut Valley. In 1707 the English organized an expedition against Acadia. Acadia became the British province of Nova Scotia (1710) and the name of Port Royal was changed to Annapolis Royal. By the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Great Britain secured recognition of its claims in the Hudson's Bay country and the possession of Newfoundland and Acadia. The claim of the British to the Iroquois country was also admitted, and St. Christopher was ceded to Britain. The French were excluded from fishing on the Acadian coast but were allowed to retain Cape Breton Island. The asiento (license) gave the English the exclusive right for 30 years of bringing African slaves into the Spanish possessions.  5
The Molasses Act. In response to pleas from the West Indian planters, Parliament enacted the Molasses Act, which placed prohibitive duties on sugar and molasses imported into the colonies from other than British possessions. In 1732 Parliament had stopped the importation of hats from the colonies and had restricted their manufacture.  6
WAR BETWEEN SPAIN AND ENGLAND (War of Jenkins' Ear, (See 1739–48). Dissatisfied with the provisions of the Treaty of Utrecht with respect to trade with Spanish possessions, British merchants had resorted to extensive smuggling, which, in turn, had led to the seizure of British ships and the rough treatment of British sailors by the Spaniards. The loss of Jenkins' ear was merely one of many similar episodes.  7
KING GEORGE'S WAR, the American phase of the War of the Austrian Succession in Europe (See 1740–48). The outstanding event in the war in America was the capture of Louisburg (1745). In the interior, an abortive attempt of the northern colonies to conquer Canada spurred the French and Indians to attack the frontier as far south as New York (1746–48).  8
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (See 1748, Oct. 18), based upon European rather than colonial considerations, restored all the conquests of the war. In America the treaty was merely a truce, for Nova Scotia, the Ohio Valley, and the Cherokee country continued to be areas of conflict. In order to strengthen the British hold on Nova Scotia, Lord Halifax sent out 2,500 settlers in 1749 and founded the town of Halifax. In the Ohio Valley, traders from Virginia and Pennsylvania pushed westward as far as the Indian villages on the Mississippi. Virginia frontiersmen made a settlement at Draper's Meadow on the Greenbrier River in 1748.  9
The Ohio Company, organized by a group of Virginians and a number of prominent Englishmen. The company obtained a grant of 500,000 acres on the upper Ohio and sent out Christopher Gist (1750) to explore the region as far as the falls of the Ohio.  10
Marquis Duquesne sent an expedition of 1,500 men to occupy the Ohio country. In the same year Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia sent out George Washington, a young surveyor, to demand the withdrawal of the French. He proceeded to Fort Le Boeuf but was told that Dinwiddie's letter would be forwarded to Duquesne. It was quite clear that the French would not leave peacefully.  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.