by Pauline Maier

The British colonists of mainland North America had great hopes for the future in 1763, when the Peace of Paris formally ended the Seven Years’ War. Since the late seventeenth century, their lives had been disrupted by a series of wars between Britain and the “Catholic Powers,” France and Spain. Now, however, a triumphant Britain took title to Spanish Florida, French Canada, and all of Louisiana east of the Mississippi. With the British flag flying over so much of the North American continent, the colonists looked forward to a time of uninterrupted peace, expansion, and prosperity. Deeply proud of the British victory and their own identity as “free Britons,” they neither wanted nor foresaw what the next two decades would bring—independence, revolution, and yet another war.More »