The French and Indian War (1755–1764) was the North American theatre of the worldwide Seven Years’ War. The war was fought between the colonies of British America and New France, with both sides supported by military units from their parent countries of Great Britain and France, as well as Native American allies.
The war was fought primarily along the frontiers between New France and the British colonies, from Virginia in the South to Nova Scotia in the North. It began with a dispute over control of the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, called the Forks of the Ohio, and the site of the French Fort Duquesne and present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The dispute erupted into violence in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754, during which Virginia militiamen under the command of 22-year-old George Washington ambushed a French patrol.
The outcome was one of the most significant developments in a century of Anglo-French conflict. France ceded its territory east of the Mississippi to Great Britain. It ceded French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River (including New Orleans) to its ally Spain, in compensation for Spain’s loss to Britain of Florida (Spain had ceded this to Britain in exchange for the return of Havana, Cuba). France’s colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Britain’s position as the dominant colonial power in eastern North America.