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The War That Made America by Fred Anderson


This works in review is 'The War That Made America' by Fred Anderson. The book is a

historical look back at the war that occurred between the French and the Indians in 1754. 'The

story by Fred Anderson on the war of the French and the Indians' is the author's most recently

released book and is the subject for discussion in this case study. The book is a summarized

version of the war that took place in the British North America between the Indians (who fought

for Britain) and the French. The book is also a shorter version of an earlier book of his; 'Crucible

of War'. The war novel tells the story of a conflict that was sparked off almost by accident and

later on became one of the most important battles in the history of North America. The book also

illustrates very clearly the uncertainty associated with war; nobody can accurately predict the

exact outcome of war before it happens. The book explores the themes covered in war and

simultaneously provides the reader with accurate information on the history of North America.

Fred Anderson is a famous writer and historian with American origin. He was born in

1949 In North America. He has a Ph.D. in history from the prestigious Harvard University and

from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He teaches at the University of Colorado, Boulder as a

professor of history. The historian has written five books, all of which are based on historical

events and are also written as they occurred. The author specializes in historically accurate

events especially wars and battles and not fantasy and adventure tales. He is well established and

credible academician and is one of the most conversant people in the field of American history.

In his historical novel, Fred Anderson portrays the image of George Washington as a

young man who was solely shaped by the seven year battle where he participated. The author

oversimplifies the character of George Washington in the novel as he was significantly

influenced by other factors. He was also significantly influenced by the Virginian society which

was founded on slavery in America. It is this society that funded and sent George Washington on

his initial battle against the French. The novel is a unique and captivating way of learning about

the history of America though it offers a narrowed perspective of the seven year war.

In 1754 America was about to experience a war that lasted a period of seven years. The

exact situation that leads to the initiation of the war is still unclear, and many versions of the

story have been told. George Washington, still a young man at the time was leading a force of

Indians and volunteers from Virginia. In a remote location, Allegheny Glen, the troops lead by

George Washington had an encounter with a group of French soldiers. The two forces began

fighting, over what is still not clear. In the scuffle George Washington is injured badly and loses

control of his men. By the end of the fierce battle, the French had suffered significant losses; 13

deaths and much more injured and in critical condition (Anderson, 13).

The struggle between the two forces began something larger than anyone expected. It was

the basis for a seven-year war that followed the event between the French and North American

Indians. The battle was now over the control of the North American territory but was instigated

by the collision of the forces earlier. As the fight raged on it also spread from the US to Canada,

India, the Philippines and the Caribbean region. The war was at first between England and

France over the control of North America. During the initial stages of the war, France took

charge of the war and seemed to be on the way to a victory. Early in the War General Edward

Braddock and his deputy George Washington are taken by a French-inspired assault. The French

overcome the opponents army and cause the death of many soldiers. George Washington was

one of the few lucky survivors. Marquis de Montcalm a French strategist and general inspired his

troops to multiple triumphs over the British from 1756 when the war was declared to 1758

(Anderson, 21).

With everything going so well for the French it was almost obvious they would win. In

1759, however, the French strategist Marquis de Montcalm suddenly died. After his death, the

French began to experience a change in the tide and started losing battles in North America. It

was not long till the war was over with the British-backed force winning the seven-year war. The

French domination of North America was permanently cut short by the loss suffered in the

seven-year war. The British had won over territories from Canada to Florida, and though George

Washington's side won the war, they were still under the leadership of Britain.

The British were at a high point in history at the time after the seven-year war as they

controlled a vast new territory, North America. Their celebration and cheer were soon to be cut

short. A year after the war The Philippines started a revolt against British colonization. The

British imposed a tax on their colonies to cover the cost of war which angered the colony states.

The soldiers who had fought the seven-year war along the British had grown in confidence and

were ready to face the British in a battle for their independence. The disgruntled Indians also

rebelled against the British colonizers. The Indians launched the Pontiac's Rebellion. The

Rebellion was a strategic campaign across the western region of the now the USA. The Pontiac's

Rebellion was quite successful and managed to cause panic and retaliation by an intimidated

British force. The British forces were eventually overpowered, and North America was free from

their colonial masters, the British. In the book, Fred Anderson suggests the Indians were the

biggest losers of the seven-year war. After the war, the Americans began to reject and hate the

Indians as a result of incidences that occurred during the war. The Indians were also corrupt and

highly aggressive. The Indians used to ambush and abduct British settlers as well as their

tribesmen. The Abducted British settlers were usually murdered brutally by the Indians, and

those who survived were sold to the French. The actions of the Indians only lead to growth in the

hate for the Indians. The Americans who took over North America were largely white and feared

the Indians might attack them causing a mass hate and anger against the Indians without reserve

or peculiarity. The negative attitude towards the Indians eventually leads to their subjugation and

decline, both in number and power. The Indians were as a result ignored and taken from the

history of America despite playing a crucial role in the country's wars and eventual

independence. The seven-year war between the French and the Indians had a monumental effect

and sway on the history of the North American continent and more so the USA. The American

war leads to the extinction of French dominance in the region. The British also imposed taxes on

the North American population to cover the expenses of the war; these taxes are some of the

major reasons the colony fought the British. Soldiers who fought in the seven-year war had also

gained skills and useful information about the battle and this assisted in fighting off the British

(Anderson, 35).

Fred Anderson states in his biographical note that he specifically avoided footnotes in this

novel so as not to scare away potential readers and more specifically his target audience. This

means that the sources the author used are not exposed or stated for the reader. In his other book

'The Crucible of War however he states multiple credible references. The book in review is

closely related and speaks on the same topic and the reader would assume the same sources were

used though it is not stated. I however think this was a mistake as the reader requires to read

more on a specific scene in the book. Footnotes and references also give a written work

credibility. The information in the novel is however accurate. The years indicated in the work by

Fred Anderson are historically accurate. The names used and events in the war are also in tune

with factual records.


Fred Anderson in his book that is in review by this case study explores the much

overlooked seven-year war and its implications. The book shows how unpredictable war is and

often the results are not what either of the parties was expecting. Throughout the seven-year war

between the British-backed Indians and the French, the British fought so as to gain a new

colonial territory. The war, however, prepared the Americans for independence. The British who

had won the war and gained control of the new North American territory lost everything one year

later when the Americans revolted. The native Indians abandoned the French and fought them for

seven years and later fought the British for independence. The Indians became hated after

independence and were later marginalized, hated and discriminated against leading to their

eventual reduction and loss of power. Probably, if all the parties; the French. The British and the

Indians would have known the outcome of the war they would never have participated in the

war. The seven-year war benefited almost only the Americans who went on to eventually gain

independence. The French lost their influence and dominance over the region. The Indians were

marginalized and mistreated greatly from the period after the war. The British also lost since the

new colony of North America revolted only a year later and might not have raised enough money

to cover the seven-year war that preceded it.


Works Cited

Anderson, Fred. A People's Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War.

UNC Press Books, 2012.

Anderson, Fred. The war that made America: A short history of the French and Indian War.

Penguin, 2015.