The real start to the American Revolution?

Amateur American historians (me included!) often debate when the American Revolution became inevitable.

Was it the Boston Massacre?

Was it the Boston Tea Party?

Was it “the shot heard ‘round the world” as so many if us were taught in grade school?

Or did the American Revolution become inevitable a hundred of miles away from Boston in the Ohio Valley frontier? And a couple decades earlier?

According to, George Washington – pretty much single-handedly, the way they wrote

their account – started a world war known as the Seven Years War.

Quick quibble - It was known as the French and Indian War in America and the Seven Years War in Europe where it embroiled much of the Northern European continent. I know that’s hardly world-wide, but they used the term “world war” – not me.

American Revolution, French and Indian War, Seven Years War
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Source: Wikimedia Commons
You’ll also notice that although Washington signed the confession, one he couldn’t read since it was in French, his Indian aid was actually the one who killed the French ensign.

But that’s not my point.

It was this “world war” that so depleted the British coffers that they decided to tax the colonists for their defense during the French and Indian War. This, in turn, led to the Boston Massacre (sort of) and the Boston Tea Party (definitely) and the battles at Lexington and Concord (inevitably).

And, of course, the American Revolution.


  1. I remember watching a documentary on Washington and being surprised about that battle, 'cause it's not something we ever talk about or celebrate.

    Also, not sure what had to say about it, but one key feature for me is how after his first trip west, he wrote a book about his adventure, which became a big hit. And so on his second trip, I think he was trying to act out a grand ambush and instead ended up being branded an assassin on his return.

    At yeah, no one ever mentions how Britain had just saved our ass and how they were paying larger taxes than we were.

  2. The crowd I hang around mentioned it. :-) Actually, the "British paid more taxes" argument doesn't work for me. No one (that I know of) ever argued that the amount of taxes was unfair, it was the way they were levied. It was as if Parliament was trying to be insulting.

  3. Oh, but they were trying to be insulting! And they did a real fine job of it, too. :-)