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King Louis War

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Foreword

Hello! Here i'm trying to make the best of a well-known subject in alternate history: a different thread of events during the Seven Year's War in North America. I would try here not to be too much on the habitual clichés of this kind of subject, but rather to imagine subtle change of particular events.

I hope it'll be amusing also for historians, for I would make some "private jokes", in reference to the historiography of these events.


The beginnning of the war in North America

According to the most renowned scholars ont both sides of the Atlantic, the war that broke out in 1755 in North America was a consequence of the rather inconclusive way in which the precedent conflict, the War of the Austrian Succession, ended. See especially François Parquemane's book, Amherst et Montcalm.

Here are some of the causes generally accepted to be at the origin of the conflict:

  1. British colonists were upset with the return of Louisbourg to the French, as there were able to take it in 1755 with the help of the British Navy but forced to retunr it back to France at the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748.
  2. France and Britain were both trying to control the Ohio Valley, which implied considerable tensions over the trade with the various amerindian nations. (See on this particular point Fred Anderson's A Crucible of War? King Louis War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 2000.)

The French decided in 1755 to send reinforcements under the Baron Jean-Armand de Dieskau, consisting of six battalions of the Troupes de Terre. The British send also reinforcements under Major-General Braddock, consisting of two regiments of the Irish establishment, to be filled with new recruits on arrival in North America.

Therefore, further escalation was inavoidable. Braddock marched to Fort Dusquesne, the key French position on the Ohio, but lost himself with his army on the way, mostly because of the thick forest and the inaccuracy of his scouts. However, according to George Washington's papers, the objective could have been reached, but the Braddock was anxious about stretching too much his line of supply and decided to go back.

In the meantime, Dieskau's forces met with colonel Johnson's militiamen at Fort George, south of Lake Saint-Sacrement. However, the battle was inconclusive, and the French retired after two or three volleys of fire.

There was much debate in Nova Scotia about the Acadians. Some of the British officials were worrying about their loyalty, and suggested to expel them from Acadia; however, others were doubtful about that. Nothing was really done about that, and it remained a matter of friction.

1756: War in Full Career

The year 1756 saw some reinforcements send away from France to North America. A squadron under Admiral Mc Namara was successful in bringing them, with a new commander, the Marquis de Montcalm. The new French Etat-Major and commander came because of an increase of the conflict, and also because Dieskau, having caught a bad flux in the winter, asked to be replaced.


Further Reading

Fred Anderson, Fred Anderson's A Crucible of War? King Louis War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 2000.

François Parquemann, Amherst et Montcalm, 1964 (1st ed. 1867)

Guy Frégault, La guerre d'attrition, 1960.

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