Tuesday, May 1, 2012

There was never a good war, or a bad peace.

Cherokee Scouting Fort Duquesne
Dear families-
I will be posting a series of videos that support our learning about the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. By doing so, students can readily access key information for review or just a second look -- and all of you can continue to check out the kinds of things we're talking about. I'll post assignments at the bottom of each blog.

The French and Indian War -- 1754 and 1763

The first major event of the war was in 1754, when a Virginia major named George Washington, was sent to negotiate boundaries with the French. Washington stumbled upon the French about 40 miles before reaching Fort Duquesne. In the ensuing skirmish, an officer named Joseph Coulon de Jumonville was among French casualties, news of which would have certainly provoked a strong French response. Washington pulled back several miles and established Fort Necessity. The French attacked this position on July 4, forcing Washington to negotiate a withdrawal under arms.


Muskets fired at a recreation of the Fort Necessity Stockade for the documentary "George Washington Remembers." George Washington defended the makeshift fort against a French-allied Native American attack.


Soon after the defeat at Fort Necessity, Britain learned that 78 French troops had been deployed to attack the British fort Oswego, in Canada. The British Parliament responded by providing more money to the colonies to fund an expanded militia. They also sent British regiments to the colonies. In February 1755, the first British general to ever set foot in the colonies, Edward Braddock, arrived in Virginia to take charge. Braddock had had 45 years of experience in European style warfare, but was completely ignorant of how to fight in the North American wilderness. Here, “Indian fighting” took the place of formal, face-to-face combat. 

Upon his arrival, Braddock developed a three-part strategy for defeating the French. (1) The Massachusetts regiments were sent to reinforce the defenses at Oswego, and to capture Fort Niagara on the south shore of Lake Erie. (2) Colonel William Johnson was assigned to capture Fort Frederick at Crown Point, on the banks of Lake Champlain. (30 Braddock himself was to take Fort Duquesne in Pennsylvania.
On July 9, 1755, Braddock's men crossed the Monongahela without opposition, about ten miles south of Fort Duquesne. The advance guard of 300 Grenadiers and colonials with two cannon under Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gage began to move ahead, and unexpectedly came upon the French and Indians, who were hurrying to the river. The Battle of the Monongahela, or the Battle of the Wilderness, was officially begun.


The battle for Fort Duquesne was the first significant battle of 1755. Although the British outnumbered the French by more than two to one (2,200 men to 1,000 men), they were easily defeated.  British soldiers under Braddock were marching in formal columns toward the Monongahela River when they were ambushed by the French and their Indian allies, attacking them under cover of trees and rocks.  Braddock would not allow his men to break ranks and seek cover as they were fired upon by this invisible enemy.  977 British soldiers were killed that day, while only 9 French soldiers lost their lives. Braddock was mortally wounded.




The Acadians are the descendants of the French who settled in Acadia located in the Canadian Maritime provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and in the US state of Maine. Acadia was founded in a region geographically separate from Quebec, Québecers and Acadians have different culture. But during the deportation many refugees move in Québec, today almost all Québecers can say they have a Acadian ancestor. In the Great Expulsion of 1755-1763, mostly during the Seven Years' War, British colonial officers, New England legislators and militia deported more than 14,000 Acadians from the maritime region.


Many later settled in Louisiana, where they became known as Cajuns. University of Maine at Fort Kent history professor Roger Paradis said that this was a clear case of ethnic cleansing and genocide because, an attempt was made to make French Acadians disappear by scattering them throughout the 13 colonies. It was unnecessarily cruel in the sense that ships were overloaded, which resulted in disease, death, and the sinking of vessels. Families were broken up and the Acadians were sent to an alien and unfriendly land of exile.


 Social Studies, Grades 5 & 6 -- Introduction to the French and Indian War
  • Fort Necessity Cloze, due tomorrow (May 2)
Language Arts, Grade 6 -- POETRY EXHIBITION PROJECT --
  • Vocabulary words/definitions/examples (due Friday, May 4)
  • Find poem to read aloud. Practice, practice so that you read it well.
  • Independent Poetry packet (also due Friday, May 4)
Language Arts, Grade 5 -- Tying up loose ends
  • Finish List Poem (It was due yesterday!)
  • Complete Fort Necessity Cloze (due Tuesday, May 2)
  • Work on PPPs