The first war with a truly global area
of conflict, the Seven Years' War
(1756 - 1763) pitted Great Britain,
Prussia and Hanover against France, Austria, Russia, Sweden, and Saxony.
A force from the neutral Netherlands was even attacked in India. Battles
in Europe were largely draws and European boundaries were returned to their
pre-war states in the Treaty of Hubertusburg (February 1763). An example
is the Battle of Rossbach (November 1757).
Great Britain battled France across India, North America, Europe, the
Caribbean isles, the Philippines and coastal Africa. During the 1750s up
to 1763, Great Britain gained enormous areas of land and influence at the
expense of the French. Robert Clive ran the French from India, and General
James Wolfe defeated the French forces of General Louis Joseph de Montcalm
and so conquered Canada (New France). The English returned most French
Caribbean islands at the end of the war but acquired Canada permanently.
These islands produced great quantities of sugar which England already
had access to on their own islands but which the French considered more
valuable than the vast, mostly unsettled lands of Canada. The British-French
hostilities were ended with the Treaty of Paris (1763).
The North American phase of this conflict is known in the United States
as the French and Indian War. Many of the Indians (Native Americans/First
Nations) sided with France although some did fight with the British. The
name "Seven Years' War" is used in the United States to refer only to the
seven-year European phase of the conflict (1756-1763), not the nine-year
North American conflict or the Indian campaigns which lasted 15 years.