The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war. In Canada, it is usually just referred to as the Seven Years' War, although French Canadians often call it La guerre de la Conquête ("The War of Conquest"). In Europe, there is no specific name for the North American part of the war. The name refers to the two main enemies of the British colonists: the royal French forces and the various Native American forces allied with them, although Great Britain also had Native allies.
The war was fought primarily along the frontiers between the British colonies from Virginia to Nova Scotia, and began with a dispute over the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, the site of present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The dispute resulted in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in May 1754. British attempts at expeditions in 1755, 1756 and 1757 in the frontier areas of Pennsylvania and New York all failed, due to a combination of poor management, internal divisions, and effective French and Indian offense. The 1755 capture of Fort Beauséjour on the border separating Nova Scotia from Acadia was followed by a British policy of deportation of its French inhabitants, to which there was some resistance.
After the disastrous 1757 British campaigns (resulting in a failed expedition against Louisbourg and the Siege of Fort William Henry, which was followed by significant atrocities on British victims by Indians), the British government fell, and William Pitt came to power, while France was unwilling to risk large convoys to aid the limited forces it had in New France, as it preferred to concentrate its forces against Prussia and its allies in the European theatre of the war. Pitt significantly increased British military resources in the colonies, and between 1758 and 1760 the British military successfully penetrated the heartland of New France, with Montreal finally falling in September 1760.
The outcome was one of the most significant developments in a century of Anglo-French conflict. France ceded French Louisiana west of the Mississippi River to its ally Spain in compensation for Spain's loss to Britain of Florida. France's colonial presence north of the Caribbean was reduced to the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, confirming Britain's position as the dominant colonial power in the eastern half of North America.