The French And Indian War: The "Real" First World War

1955 words - 8 pages

The Seven Years War, or more commonly referred to as “The French and Indian War”, has been called the true First World War. In this book The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America, the author and historian Walter R. Borneman paints a detailed and elaborate picture that justifies the claim of it being the first true war of global proportions. If ever there truly was a climax to the never ending feud of the European powers that be, Borneman would like to suggest that it was The Seven Years War. Beginning roughly in 1754, the author leads us on a path of discovery that truly has no beginning and only a tentative and temporary end. The author describes in great detail ...view middle of the document...

The author, having already written 1812: The War That Forged a Nation was steeped in knowledge of the period, but it was his desire to dig deeper. Borneman said “I found myself drawn to events a generation before the American Revolution with the same fascination that I had just written about events a generation after it” (Acknowledgments). The author fully embraces his desire not only in the amount of research that he did but also in the time spent analyzing and interpreting the information into written and yet living history. Borneman seems to have truly grasped the scale of the war, acknowledging that there was no real way to ever understand every aspect of neither the period nor the events that would transpire. In trying to explain the overall concept, design and intent of the book Borneman said “My goal became to present the triumphs and tragedies of this struggle; place them in the context of France and Great Britain’s greater global conflict; essentially the first truly world war; and emphasize that from seeds of discord sown here grew the American Revolution” (Acknowledgments). The book and author not only accomplish this with grace and ease but go further in explaining external events and their possible impact upon the two great European powers of focus.
The author begins by explaining both potential and actual events that initially caused the outbreak of the French and Indian War. He sums up the state of the world in an effective if not all too blunt statement saying “England and France had been at war since—well, it seemed like forever” (pg.1). This quote by itself sets the tone for what is to follow. The author constantly reinforces the idea that England and France are at odds in this first chapter. Fearing that this “feud” he describes may lead the reader to believe that the conflict is regionally centralized he goes further by saying “England and France were always on opposite sides just as surely as they sat opposite of the English Channel. By the mid-eighteenth century, however, this cross-channel feud began to take on major global dimensions, as it became evident that far more than the mastery of Europe was at stake” (pg.1). This main point of the book is a necessary trend that will continue to be seen. The very ebb and flow of the world at the time was quite simply determined by the attitudes of a few European nations and their overarching desires. The author moves forward by setting the stage for the many altercations that would ensue. He sets the main scene as North America with a supporting cast of Europe and the Caribbean in a manner of speaking. Borneman not only sets the stage early on, but goes out of his way to describe the very nature of the volatile world during the onset of the French and Indian War. He describes the various rulers listing King George II of Great Britain, Louis XV of France, Ferdinand VI of Spain, Maria Theresa of Austria, and Marquise de Pompadour mistress of Louis XV. Borneman describes the...

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