By Ronald J. Dale
Two great empires collided in North America in the 1750s when France and Great Britain (with the eager support of Britain's American colonies) contested control of the Ohio Valley and Nova Scotia. We live with the outcome of this conflict today. It set the stage for a bilingual Canada with an English majority, for the emergence of the independent United States, and for the long decline in influence and power of aboriginal nations.
In this handsome book extensively illustrated with paintings, sketches, and colour photographs of important sites and artifacts relating to the war, historian Ron Dale offers a narrative encompassing all sides of the conflict and important sites and fortifications. Key to his narrative are Acadia, Louisbourg, Quebec, Montreal, and military forts such as Fort George and Fort Niagara.
He also profiles key figures in the conflict. Best-known is British General James Wolfe, a daring hero of the campaigns in the Scottish highlands and Louisbourg's capture, but strangely petulant and indecisive in the face of Quebec's invincible fortifications. Wolfe lays waste to 1,400 farms and 23 villages along the St. Lawrence to show his displeasure. Inside Quebec's walls, the French General Louis-Joseph Montcalm argues bitterly with civilian leaders over tactics while despairing over the antics of Canada's home-grown aristocracy.
Reflecting the extensive recent work of historians in Canada and the U.S. who have learned much about the conflict and the combatants, this book demonstrates that the history of North America is far more interesting than it ever seemed to be in school.