The French and Indian Wars were the colonial North American theatre of the Seven Years’ War (1756–63), which became the first global war. The conflict had arisen from issues left unresolved by the War of the Austrian succession 1740–48. The war broke out in Europe, with coalitions developing around Britain, on the one side, and around France and Spain on the other. These alliances quickly spread to the rival states’ colonial possessions. Anglo-French conflict over their colonies in North America began in 1754 in what became known in the United States as the French and Indian War, a nine-year war that ended France’s presence as a land power. The British colonies, with a population of two million, conquered New France with a population of 60,000, and both sides used Native American allies. The conflict was considered the most important event to occur in 18th-century North America prior to the American Revolution. Spain entered the war in 1761, joining France. France ceded Canada and all French territory east of the Mississippi. France also ceded French Louisiana to its ally Spain in compensation for Spain’s loss of Spanish Florida to the British in the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
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