The French and Indian War, 1754-1763

Map of Nouvelle-France
European territories in North America before the French and Indian War, illustrated by Wikimedia Commons user Pinpin

Native Americans traded furs with colonists for European goods. Arriving first in the west, the French had claimed the land along the Mississippi River in 1682. Seeking control of the fur trade along the Ohio River valley, Great Britain began fighting with France and their Native American allies in 1754 in a series of battles known as the French and Indian War.

Map of campaigns during the French and Indian War
Campaigns during the French and Indian War, illustrated by Wikimedia Commons user Hoodinski

The Treaty of Paris officially ended the conflict in 1763, giving Canada, the Great Lakes, and most of the Mississippi River land to Britain. Louisiana was not included because France had secretly given it to Spain the year before. Some French colonists moved further west, but many remained, becoming British subjects.

Map of British and Spanish territories before and after the French and Indian War
Comparison of British and Spanish territories before and after the French and Indian War, illustrated by Wikimedia Commons user AlexiusHoratius