5 Things You Didn't Know About the Seven Years' War

The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially began on this day in 1756 when England declared war on France. Here are five things you didn't know about the Seven Years' War...


This Is the War That Gave Rise to Cajun Culture in Louisiana # Despite a pledge of neutrality, the Acadian French settlers were considered a threat by the British. Image source: Charles William Jefferys [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. French settlements stretched all the way up into what is now eastern Canada, in an area called Acadia. The British were wary of having a French region so close by and decided to oust the settlers, even though they were not themselves involved in fighting and had committed to remaining neutral in the war. The Acadians were expelled and forced to flee, with many going to France, but many also moving south to Louisiana, which was under French control. The word "Acadian" gradually morphed into "Cajun," and the expulsions are still remembered to this day. The term "Cajun" also gradually grew to encompass any regional white, French-speaking resident, even if they weren't of Acadian descent.

It's Also the War That Started the Cascade of Incidents Leading up to the American Revolution # William Pitt led the British to a stunning victory. Image source: Studio of William Hoare [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. By the end of the war, Britain was in a great position globally and politically—but it was tapped out financially. Britain decided the Colonies could refill the Empire's coffers, and the British government came up with infamous tax acts like the Sugar Act, Townshend Acts, and Stamp Act, as well as a ban on settling west of Appalachia. These restrictive and financially stressful acts were among the conditions that led to the rebellion of the American Colonies.


The Seven Years' War Had a Two-Year Head Start The official dates of the Seven Years' War are from 1756-1763. However, the fighting actually began in 1754. Both the French and British were at odds and battling each other for two years before Britain decided to formally declare war on France.

It Was Actually a World War As the alternate name implies, this was a war concentrated in North America between the British and French with Indian help. But the involvement of so many global allies—and the reach of all these empires—meant that related battles broke out worldwide. While the war might not have been a devastating event on the scale of World War I, it did reach around the globe, with key battles in Africa and the Philippines. In fact, this was the war that saw the Philippines switch from Spanish control to British control.

The Massive Concessions Made by the French Led to Their Support for the Colonies in the Revolution France lost a lot in the Seven Years' War, and it had a long memory as a result. When the American colonies rebelled in the 1770s, France aided the colonists against the British—and the stinging loss to the British in the previous war was the main driver for France to help the new Americans.