Gouvernement du Canada - Commission des champs de batails nationaux Gouvernement du Canada - Canada

The National Battlefields Commission

Plains of Abraham



Context of the Seven Years' War

Americans know it as the French and Indian War; in Québec it is known as the War of the Conquest; in Europe, mostly as the Seven Years' War. It is generally considered as the first world-wide conflict – the confrontations took place in Europe, America and Asia –, and it lasted from 1756 to 17631. Moreover, due to the play of alliances, most European nations and their colonies were involved in a conflict that pitted against each other the French and British Crowns and their respective allies. The objectives differed according to the interests of each State, but for France and Great Britain the stakes were mostly economic. The two powers confronted each other to impose their commercial supremacy to the four corners of the earth.

The Seven Years' War can be considered as the continuation of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748) that ended with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. However, this peace could easily be broken, since none of the powers involved in the war were truly satisfied with what they had gained. Moreover, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle could not calm down the imperialistic claims of France and England2. The context was therefore favourable to a new conflict, and the first battles took place on American soil.