Competing European Claims René-Robert Cavelier La Salle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France in 1682. In the middle of the 18th century, France and England had competing claims for land in North America. The French held trapping and trade routes in the Ohio Valley. The English colonies were encroaching on French territory are the population grew. Both also competed over trade issues with the Native Americans in the disputed region.
The Battle of Fort Necessity The French set up forts along to protect their fur trading interests. Some of these forts conflicted with English claims. Virginia Governor Dinwiddie sent a young George Washington in 1753 to deliver a protest to the French. This protest was ignored. The British sent a party to construct a fort on the site of modern Pittsburg. Young George Washington
The Battle of Fort Necessity The party was driven off by the French who, in turn, constructed their own Fort on the same site. The next year, Dinwiddie ordered Washington to remove the French from the site. Washington was quickly overwhelmed by superior French and Native American numbers. Washington had to retreat to the poorly constructed Fort Necessity, which he had to surrender shortly there after. This incident was a prelude to the French and Indian War. 1757 to 1763. (In Europe known as The 7 year War) A recreation of Ft. Necessity.
French Defeat: Treaty of Easton The Treaty of Easton, signed in 1758, essentially sealed France’s fate. The British promised the Six Iroquois Nations they would stop creating settlements west of the Appalachians and recognize their rights to hunt in the Ohio Valley in exchange for their neutrality in the war. This caused the French to abandon Forts and, by 1760, Detroit and Montreal, the last two French strongholds in North America, had fallen. This was the end of major fighting in North America.
The Treaty of Paris The 1763 Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War. The French transferred its claims west of the Mississippi to Spain and gave up its territory east of the Mississippi to the British. The Treaties of Easton and Paris limited colonization to the Eastern seaboard.