The French and Indian War: APUSH Topics to Study for Test Day

french indian war apush

While colonizing America, the British stayed mainly along the coast whereas the French headed further inland. The British sent families who built farms and towns. The French mainly sent single men who worked in the fur trade industry. They lived with, traded with, and married Indians. It’s no wonder that they turned to them for help in the French and Indian War. As you review French and Indian War APUSH topics for the exam, here are some things to know.

What Was the French and Indian War?

The French and Indian War was fought between the French and British. Although the war started in America, it moved to Europe and became part of the Seven Years’ War.

During the French and Indian War, the British hoped to stop French expansion on the American continent. Both countries fought for control of the Ohio Valley and Canada.

The British received help from the Iroquois nation. And, the French received help from the Mohawk and Algonquin Indians.

The war ended when the British captured Quebec and Montreal.



Why Is It Important to Know?

Simply put, the French and Indian War led to the Revolutionary War. At the end of the war, France gave the British all their land in the Americas. This made Britain the sole authority over the colonies.

Before the French and Indian War, Britain practiced salutary neglect, meaning they pretty much left the colonies alone to govern themselves. After the war, however, Britain practiced a hands-on approach with the colonists. They even heavily taxed them to help pay off their debts from the war.

These actions caused tensions to increase between Britain and the colonists. Eventually, the colonists wanted independence, which led to the Revolutionary War.


  • William Pitt- A British statesman who helped divert resources to the British army. Also, he oversaw the Seven Years’ War at the same time.
  • General Edward Braddock- He served as the Commander of the British army. He died in battle, leaving his second in command to take over: Colonel George Washington.
  • Iroquois Confederacy- Made up of five (later 6) tribes that lived in New York during the 17th and 18th centuries, they fought in the French and Indian War. These tribes were organized and powerful.
  • Chief Pontiac- He was a prominent Indian leader in the Pontiac’s rebellion, which was named for him.
  • Benjamin Franklin- He presented the Albany Plan of Union in hopes of unifying the colonies under one government.
  • Events

  • Albany Plan of Union- Presented in 1754 to the Albany Congress, Benjamin Franklin hoped to unite the colonies under one government. The Albany Congress rejected it, but it paved the way for future unification.
  • Battle of Quebec- In September 1759, James Wolfe led an attack against the French in Quebec. The British took Quebec by surprise at night.
  • Treaty of Paris- Signed in 1763, the treaty marked the end of the war. According to the treaty, France lost Canada, India, some of the Caribbean islands, and all their land east of Mississippi. Spain gave Florida to Britain, but France gave New Orleans and Louisiana to Spain in return.
  • Pontiac’s Rebellion- After the war, the Indians were unhappy with the outcome. Tribes united to get rid of the settlers encroaching on their land. In total, about 2,000 settlers died.
  • Proclamation of 1763- To appease the Indian tribes, the Proclamation of 1763 reduced the number of settlements on Indian lands. They also regulated trade agreements and land purchases.
  • Practice Question 1

    1. After the British victory in the French and Indian War, all the following happened EXCEPT:
    a. The French gave up all control of their lands on the American continent.
    b. The British taxed the colonists to pay off their debts from the war.
    c. Colonists no longer experienced salutary neglect from Britain.
    d. The British Empire became the sole owners of property on the American continent.

    Answer: D. As part of the Treaty of Paris, the French gave all their land on the American continent to Britain. The British decided to play a more active role over the colonists. Unfortunately, this included taxing the colonists to pay for the war.

    Although the French gave up lands that they owned, they actually gave Spain the Louisiana territory. This was in exchange for Florida, which Spain had to give to the British in the Treaty of Paris.

    Practice Question 2

    2. What was the result of the Proclamation of 1763?
    a. It called for fighting to end in the French and Indian War.
    b. Colonists continued to settle on the native’s land.
    c. It forced France and Spain to give up their American territories.
    d. American colonists were forced to pay taxes and join the British army.

    Answer: B. The British signed the Proclamation of 1763 to appease the Indian tribes. However, since it promised that settlers would refrain from moving onto their lands east of the Appalachian Mountains, it angered colonists. Many colonists continued to move onto this land and settle wherever they wanted.

    Practice DBQ

    How did the French and Indian War affect the relationship between the British and American colonists?

    Answer: The APUSH exam asked a similar question a few years ago. If you have a similar question, you should note some of the following things that affected the relationship between the British and American colonists:

  • Britain sustained huge debts during the war, so they taxed the colonists. Some of the taxes included the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Townshend Acts.
  • Prior to the war, there wasn’t a strict enforcement of laws (salutary neglect). After the war, colonists were forced to follow parliamentary laws.
  • The Proclamation of 1763 angered colonists who hoped to settle east of the Appalachian Mountains.
  • The idea of unifying the colonies was introduced. Colonists realized that they were stronger and could get results when unified.
  • One of the most important things to note on French and Indian War APUSH questions is that it led to bitter feelings between the colonists and Britain. The tension continued to build until the colonists determined to seek independence from Britain.

    Happy studying!

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    • Jamie Goodwin

      Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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