King George’s War & King William’s War


The assault on Cape Breton Island was successful /

The assault on Cape Breton Island was successful /

 The War of the Austrian Succession in Europe actually saw a component part in North America, the first time such a thing should happen. Up until 1744 Europeans fought each other in the New World regularly, but not many expected the taking of Louisberg on Cape Breton Island by a combined British Navy/New England force commanded by W. Pepperell in 1745. Thus it was that a British army was able to see for itself what American colonists were capable of. Pepperell’s report is favourable.

Later there was a joint expedition against the French in the St. Laurence Valley, but it had to be abandoned. The fortress itself was returned to France in return (a fortunate contract) for Madras – in 1748.

In actual fact there had been another conflict in North America in 1689, but it was not really in the same league. It was a frontier skirmish between the French and the English plus their Native American friends, fought as an adjunct to the War of the League of Augsberg – in Europe.

The conflicts took place in the Upper Hudson and Upper St. Laurence Valleys, as well as some scraps on the northern coast. In 1690 Phipps’ New England Expedition took and partially destroyed Port Royal in Acadia, which was successful, but later disaster struck when an inter-colonial force assaulted Quebec and Montreal and got a bloody nose for their pains. Louis de Brouade, Count Frontenac repulsed the New Englanders’ attack and six years later made the Iroquois tribe suffer humiliation for having fought with the English colonists.

Having subdued the warlike Iroqois, Frontenac organized raids on English forts in Maine, but neither side had sufficient materiel for a full-scale war. France and Britain tried to send reinforcements but they were thwarted by bad weather and shipwreck.

The Treaty of Ryswick (1697) ended the engagements, and there was a truce (partially observed) in Maine in 1699.

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