July 2017 Roundtable Meeting
“THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA”
Presented by Tom Wilson
Thursday, July 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m.
Highlands Museum & Discovery Center
The most important event to occur in eighteenth-century North America, the Seven Years’ War (or as the colonists called it, the French and Indian War), figures in most Americans’ consciousness of the past as a kind of hazy backdrop to the Revolution. As citizens of a nation created by an act of collective secession from the British empire, we Americans have always tended to take as our point of reference the thirteen rebelling colonies, not the empire as a whole-or the North American continent. This perspective has generally limited our ability to see the continuities between our pre-Revolutionary past and the rest of our history.
Coming to grips with the Seven Years’ War as an event that decisively shaped American
history, as well as the histories of Europe and the Atlantic world in general, may therefore help us begin to understand the colonial period as something more than a quaint mezzotint prelude to our national history. For indeed, if viewed not from he perspective of Boston or Philadelphia, but from Montreal or Vincennes, St. Augustine or Havana, Paris or Madrid – or for the matter, Calcutta or Berlin – the Seven Years’ War was far more significant than the War of American Independence.