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Old August 28th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #41
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The fact that the war began because of French efforts to extend their borders and to strenghten their military position in North America is enough evidence that the idea they weren’t interested is bogus. Their entire policy was based on the enlargement/protection of their colonies and undermining the British position in North America as much as possible, which is why they began a policy of building forts along the edge of British territory.
With the ’Western Squadron’ which began in 1757, the royal navy achieved a continuous blockade on French territory, at the time this was revolutionary in military terms, something that had never been achieved before; the French believed to be impossible to keep a fleet at sea for that long. France did not anticipate such an effective British blockade, and because of the geography of North America they believed they could hold the colony with irregular shipments of supplies, however because of the Western Squadron few of these convoys got through
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Old August 28th, 2013, 10:02 PM   #42
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The Restigouche convoy was a mere 400 troops. That's not even enough to replace the losses in the Battle of Sainte-Foy (which precedes the French siege of Quebec). It might have made a difference and allowed them to retake the city, but certainly couldn't guarantee it, and if the best assistance they can manage is no more than enough to occasionally hold their own cities, it's not terribly impressive.
At Quebec the French already had 10,000 militia and regulars, its not the numbers of troops the convoy were carrying it was the supplies. By 1760 the French had a larger army besieging Quebec, but not the supplies to keep up the siege, had the supplies gotten through the British army then running low on supplies may have been forced to give up. So the idea that the French homeland didn't want or attempt to support New France is a myth, however by this point, the defeat of the navy at Quiberon Bay made large scale support impossible.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 10:29 PM   #43

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The fact that the war began because of French efforts to extend their borders and to strenghten their military position in North America
That's a very one-sided view of what was going on in the disputed Ohio Country.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #44
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Yes I am aware the British were not innocent in the dispute, however I was trying to explain that the fact the war began with controversy in overlapping colonial interests in North America, shows that the idea France was no interested or concerned in its colony, is simply not possible or even logical.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 10:55 PM   #45

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Yes I am aware the British were not innocent in the dispute, however I was trying to explain that the fact the war began with controversy in overlapping colonial interests in North America, shows that the idea France was no interested or concerned in its colony, is simply not possible or even logical.
Of course they were interested. It's just a question of how much they were willing to invest. Just look at the populations of the two colonies, it will give you an idea of how much effort and focus the two sides put into them.
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Old August 29th, 2013, 12:24 AM   #46
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Of course they were interested. It's just a question of how much they were willing to invest. Just look at the populations of the two colonies, it will give you an idea of how much effort and focus the two sides put into them.
The French policy was to expand the territory it had in North America, which is evidenced by the fact the war happened because territorial dispute that was so explosive it went to the French king himself. The British colonies were more populated, however they were in a perilous position geographically, with no natural barrier from inland and could only survive through support from the sea. New France had the natural barrier of a large frontier, and a buffer zone with allied native americans. Because of this France believed they could hold New France in a war with Britain and possibly even expand its size. However the French failed anticipate two things: such overpowering British naval dominance, and such effective British naval blockade. The situation changed most drastically in 1757 with the implitation of the Western Squadron, after this point the French were unable to risk large amounts of support. So the lack of support was not down to apathy, but the British naval stratergy
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Old August 29th, 2013, 01:04 AM   #47

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The French policy was to expand the territory it had in North America, which is evidenced by the fact the war happened because territorial dispute that was so explosive it went to the French king himself.
To them, it had nothing to do with expansion. They had been trading in that area long before the British. The British were trying to take their territory, from their perspective. So they asked them to leave and when they wouldn't, they started fortifying, in anticipation of British attacks which did come.

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The British colonies were more populated, however they were in a perilous position geographically, with no natural barrier from inland
They had the Appalachian Mountains to the west. They had to cross them to get to the disputed areas. Their entire territory was bordered either by mountains or the ocean, except for a small part in the north, that was the home of the Iroqouis.


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New France had the natural barrier of a large frontier
A long border isn't a "natural barrier" by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the opposite.

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and a buffer zone with allied native americans.
Weak ones, of dubious loyalty. The British buffer was formed by the most powerful native group on the continent at the time, the Iroqouis, who were very close allies with the British. George Croghan - an English trader who may, possibly, have set light to the powderkeg in the disputed area by encouraging natives to kill French traders - was actually one of the fifty sachems (lords, or chiefs) of the Confederacy. He wasn't native.

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Old August 29th, 2013, 05:59 AM   #48

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The Restigouche convoy was a mere 400 troops. That's not even enough to replace the losses in the Battle of Sainte-Foy (which precedes the French siege of Quebec). It might have made a difference and allowed them to retake the city, but certainly couldn't guarantee it, and if the best assistance they can manage is no more than enough to occasionally hold their own cities, it's not terribly impressive.

The "fleet" at Cartagena was 3 ships. I need say no more.

It's not as if France totally ignored their colony; they did mean to send more supplies than they did. But nothing like on the level the British were sending. France's colonies were never self-sufficient and relied heavily on overseas supplies during peacetime. The English colonies had around 2 000 000 settlers. The French had about 70 000. Their biggest settlement was basically a town of 8000.

How much do you really think they were prepared to do for a little town on the other side of the world when they were fighting a land war in Europe? They were not as invested in the New World as the English, and had less vested interest to protect there.
Well said! Voltaire summed up France's attitude the best, referring to Canada as "a country covered with snows and ices eight months of the year, inhabited by barbarians, bears and beavers". He also likened the loss of Canada to losing a "few acres of snow".

Last edited by Mike Lynch; August 29th, 2013 at 06:03 AM.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #49

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Wolfe wanted to continue fruitless frontal assaults. It was his second in command who came up with the idea of a stealthy attack. Wolfe was close to admitting failure and returning before this idea was presented to him by his brigadiers who had grown to despise him. He was ill throughout the expedition and was probably already dying by the time of the final battle
I don't disagree with you their.

He had a talented corps of junior officers under his command (including the much maligned William Howe), who were able to perform reasonable well in an independent capacity, though he still had trouble with Indian ambushes. He was certainly an aggressive commander, and he still had to okay the decision to make that final ascent, which was one of the reasons that I mentioned his part in my initial post.

That being said, I'm of the opinion that the real star of that show was Simon Fraser. Then a captain, he spoke fluent French, and when the British were actually challenged by sentries, as they ascended the mountain path, it was his quick thinking intervention of telling the sentries he was bringing French reinforcements, that allowed them to reach the top and overpower the sentries.

If the sentries had fired, it is uncertain whether or not (though highly unlikely imo) that the British would've been able to gain possession of the field before the French, if at all.

As an aside, this is the same Simon Fraser that was shot dead by a marksmen at Saratoga.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 06:50 PM   #50
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To them, it had nothing to do with expansion. They had been trading in that area long before the British. The British were trying to take their territory, from their perspective. So they asked them to leave and when they wouldn't, they started fortifying, in anticipation of British attacks which did come.
Both sides wanted control over the Ohio valley. France 'fortified' in territory claimed by both sides, which is expansionist activity. If France felt is position periculous, it would not have gone to such an aggressive policy to build forts and carry out activities around territory that was claimed by both sides. In 1755 the French transported six army regiments to New France, Britain only transported two regiments in that year. So the idea France was not interested in its colonies is simply delusional. Britain began to commit most of its resources to the war from 1758 when naval dominance was beggining to be felt, this is the year French support began to stop
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