History plains of abraham

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History plains of abraham

Battle Of The Plains Of Abraham

Before the battle of the Plains of Abraham, there were 3 main events that took place. Capturing of the ships, the seige at Louisbourg and the first attempt to capture Quebec.Capturing of The Ships The first event was the capturing of the ships (first picture on right). This took place in June 1775, off the coast of Newfoundland. The British attacked and seized two French ships. These 2 ships carried French troops travelling over from France to New France. The French were filled with anger and demanded for their ships to be returned. But the British refused to and war began. This war was known as the 7 year war; having it last 7 years from 1756 to 1763. for a bit the French and their First Nation allies were able to keep the British from harming their people. Until British Prime Minister William Pitt sent 50 000 troops over to capture Louisbourg and Quebec two central points for the french.Siege at LouisbourgThe second event was the siege of Louisbourg. The British had to capture Louisbourg first because it blocked the only water entrance to Quebec, which was the St. Lawrence River. Also, if they took Louisbourg they could block off the only French supply line, also the St. Lawrence River. On June 8, 1758, the attack began. A fleet of 160 British war ships arrived to the coast of Cape Breton (second picture on right). They blocked off the harbour and began attacking the fort. The British cut off all supplies and reinforcements including food, soldiers and ammunition. In the fort the French were running out of supplies. The British then arrived on shore and a group of 1220 men including James Wolfe travelled to the light house point, hoping to capture it (third picture on right). They succeeded and now had a perfect spot to attack the fortress, and water side of Louisbourg. The British then started a constant cannon fire at the fortress . After seven weeks on July 26th, 1658 the French gave up. They had no choice, people were starving, walls were falling down, and they had no help from France. While capturing Louisbourg the British burnt and captured many of the French ships (picture on bottom middle).First Attempt Capturing QuebecNow that the British had Louisburg, they could move on to Quebec. In the spring of 1759, Major-General James Wolfe travelled up the St. Lawrence, to Quebec with a fleet consiting of 200 ships, 9 000 soldiers, and 18 000 sailors (fourth picture on bottom). The battle began over 3 months. Marquis de Montcalm had 16 000 French troops ready for battle, hundreds of Odawa allies and was inside a safe stone fortress. The British decided to tried and flush the French out into the open battle, where they could be easily killed. They used a cannon on the fortress wall and attacked the countryside. The soldiers burnt farms and houses and destroyed peaceful villages. However, the French did not release their army to fight, staying inside their fortress. The British could not take Quebec. They were approaching the cold weather season and would have to leave soon. The British made their last attempt to capture Quebec. Their was a field behind the fortress, and there they would go. This would be known as the Battle of The Plains of Abraham.



Marquis de Montcalm1712-1759Marquis de Montcalm was the French commander in the war. He was born February 28th 1712 in France and died September 14th 1659 in Quebec, the day after the Plains of Abraham battle ended. Montcalm was in charge of protecting Quebec from the British. He made all the decisions for his city. In this battle, he felt very confident that he would win. Montcalm believed he was protected inside his stone fortress. He beileved no one could scale the cliff he sat above. They could use their own cannon and fire down at the enemy. Reinforcements were walking from Montreal to assist them. However, he did not know how close the French fleet, coming from France, were at this moment.

James Wolfe1727-1759 Major-General James Wolfe was the British commander in the war. He was born January 2nd 1727 in Westerham, United Kingdom and died September 13th, 1763 in Quebec. James was in charge of the attack on Quebec and helped in the attack on Louisbourg. In the attack on Quebec Major-General James Wolfe faced many challenges. Quebec was a well defended fortress, atop a high cliff that could not be climbed easily. With its incline and guards, he was not able to get behind the fort to cut off the French supply line. Also, the French fleet was coming to assist the French. They could only stay there for a few weeks until the cold weather came; otherwise their ships would be frozen and stuck in the river. James Wolfe was in a tough spot to capture Quebec. He had to overcome some of these obstacles, which would be very hard.

On September 13, 1759 the Battle of the Plains of Abraham ended. The British had won over the French. About 1300 people died in the battle (picture on top left). This includes James Wolfe, the British commander (picture on middle left) and Marquis de Montcalm, the French commander (picture on right); who both died as a result of battle wounds. After surrendering Quebec, the French moved to Montreal and tried to stay their for a year. Meanwhile, back in Quebec, the British were struggling. Quebec was destroyed (picture bottom left) and food was scarce for the British during the winter. In fact, more soldiers died in Quebec from disease then from the actual battle. They had to move on. The British now controlled the Atlantic, meaning the French had no chance of help from France. This made the next attack really easy. The British took 18 000 troops and moved to Montreal the next spring. They travelled down the St. Lawrence, burning farm houses along the banks. The French soldiers were ready for a last stand. However, Governor Vaudreuil knew they could not beat he English’s powerful army. On September 8, 1760 Vaudreuil surrendered New France to British hands (picture bottom middle). Three years later, in 1763, the war had officially ended. The French and British signed the Treaty of Paris; giving up all of the French claim to Quebec. Britain had won. The fleurs-de lys, the french flag that was standing tall above New France since the beginning came down. French rule in the new world completely ended.

Many groups were affected by the battle of Plains of Abraham. The groups affected were the French (Canadians), the British, the Acadians, and the First Nations.FrenchThe Canadiens had many worries for the future. The French no longer had control of New France as they had handed it all over to the British. This meant they had less money because land means more money. They knew things would change under the British rule. All the Canadiens were scared that they may be expelled as the Acadians were earlier. They had completely different life styles. The French were Roman Catholic and French speaking while the British were Protestantism and English speaking. They did not have much in common which would be the reason of their deportation. If they were to be expelled they would have to leave all their land and begin from scratch again losing all their hard work. The French also worried that if they were not expelled and aloud to stay that they may lose their language and religion. As I mentioned earlier they did not have the same language and religion of the British. Therefore if they were not expelled for their opposites they may be forced to change and learn something brand new. This would be very difficult and upsetting for the French since they already have their own religion and now they have to change just because someone else is in charge. Can you imagine that? Also, learning a new religion would be going against their beliefs.BritishThe British also had worries for the future. They were controlling a colony with 70 000 French people who had a complete opposite way of life than them. They worried over losing their trust, having just beat them in a war and took all their land. They may try to revolt against them or maybe even start another war. Which the British probably did not want since they had already had enough fatalities in the last war why would they want more. Also the British worried that they won’t be able to make friends with the First Nations who had been allies with the French during the war. This is because when the British beat the French they also beat the First Nation being their allies. If I was the First Nations I would never become allies or trade furs with them. They beat my friends and did so mean things to them. The British thought that they may to try to revolt against them too which would cause even more trouble or if the French revolted they would join the revolt.First NationThe First Nations had many problems too. They had to make alliances with the British (picture on right), since they now controlled most of North America and the fur trade. Even though the British defeated them in the war, they still had to become friends with them to obtain goods that they needed and to make sure they remain on their good side. However, obtaining goods from the British was a lot harder than getting them from the French. The British were not as generous in giving them their necessities, like ammunition or tobacco. Also, they worried that their land would be taken and destroyed for land consuming new comers. The British, having possession of New France, will expand into that land and will destroy their home for more land space. This means they would have less untouched land to hunt or farm. The local animals would be leaving. Trees would be cut down for homes. It was not a good time for the First Nations.AcadiansFinally, there is the Acadians. The Acadians had a plus and a minus. They were allowed to return to Acadia after being deported (picture on bottom). However, they worried that their language and religion would disappear with the flood of British settlers. Firstly, they were allowed to return home. This meant they could go back to their average farming life and traditions. Even though they had to start from scratch, having all their villages burnt down, they would be able to have a better life. Secondly, they worried their language and religion would disappear with the flood of English settlers. They were afraid that with the British settlers coming with a different way of life, they will be placed at the bottom of the social class and discriminated against because the British would have more power. Eventually, they may be forced to completely change their lifestyle and learn a new religion.


French The French was one of the main groups involved in the war (French flag above, the tricolor flag). They were French speaking, Roman Catholic settlers that came from France. They had a population of about 60 000. The French controlled New France; a colony that stretches from the St. Lawrence River to the Gulf of Mexico (New France flag in French flag bottom left corner). Some places in New France included Montreal, Quebec, and Louisburg (New France map bottom corner in flag, click on it to see full size, white is New France). They were called the white and blue in times of war, for having soldiers wear a white and blue uniform (picture top left corner of page). The French had long been rivals with the British being that they were the most powerful countries in the new world. In wars against the British, the French had advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages included a great powerful army that was trained for wilderness fighting and well defended fortresses. However, they had a small population, a large spread out colony that was hard to protect, a dependence on France for supplies, only one supply route that would be easy to block in battle and their army was stretched thin around the world, giving them only a small battalion of men.


Groups Involved (First Nations Iroqouis) Websiteshttp://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/iroquois/Pontiac Websiteshttp://www.historynet.com/chief-pontiacLouisbourg (Capturing Lighthouse Point) Websiteshttp://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars16011800/p/louisbourg.htm Louisbourg (End Date) Websiteshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Louisbourg_(1758)Marquis de Montcalm and James Wolfe (Birth and Death) Websiteshttp://www.nndb.com/people/041/000103729/http://www.militaryheritage.com/montcalm.htm

BritishThe British were another important group involved in the war (British flag above, Union Jack). They were English speaking, Protestant settlers that come from Britain. They had a population of about 1 170 760. The British controlled the 13 colonies on the east coast of America, some parts of Atlantic region of Canada and a small area near the Hudson Bay (map of British land bottom right corner of flag, click on it to see full size, brown is British land). Some of the occupied places included New York, North Carolina and Nova Scotia (map of 13 colonies bottom left corner of flag, click on it to see full size). They were often called the red coats; wearing a red uniform when in battle (picture top right corner of page). The British have long been rivals with the French; being that they are the two most powerful countries in the new world. The two often fought for each other’s land and money. In the many battles against their French rivals, the British had advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages included, a very large population, small compact settlements that were easy to protect, a very strong navy and wealth that allowed them to provide themselves with their own supplies. However, their army was not trained to fight in the North American wilderness terrain.

Events Leading Up

Groups Involved


Outcome of Battle

First NationsFinally, there are the First Nations, another important group in the war. The First Nations always fought to secure their territory. In times of war most of them supported the French; as they had a long trading history with them. Having the First Nations as allies was an advantage for the French during war times. Some of these First Nation tribes include the Algonquin, Odawa, and Huron. These tribes were found along the border of Canada and America, close to the Great Lakes. Pontiac, (picture on the top left), the Odawa tribe chief, played a big role in the war. The British only had one ally, the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois (picture on top right). The Iroquois were made up of five groups. These groups were the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. However, in the 18th century the Tuscarora joined making it consist of 6 groups. The Iroquois supported the British for the same reason the others supported the French. The Haudenosaunee tribe was found in the area that is now known as the Eastern Woodlands around the border of Canada and America. They occupy area in the north of New York and area in Quebec and Ontario.


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