Since I’m a total history nerd and live in the time of COVID-19 I recently re-watched the PBS documentary The War that made America (TWTMA). This documentary follows the Seven Years War in North America or as we call it here in the States, the French and Indian War.
Though told from the American perspective, I really enjoy how the doc is pretty fair to the French (us) and really digs into the Native American perspective as well.
Watching these documentaries as a Franco-American is such a unique experience. I grew up in the USA and despite these trying times I love my country and believe in America.
That being said…Vive le Nouvelle France all day errr day! How can I pull for the Red Coats against my people? I mean yea, some eventually become Americans, but at this point in my family’s history, I’m more a fan of Montcalm than Washington.
I mean that makes sense right? You would be surprised how unique of a perspective that is. When you grow up in the States you are basically fed the red, white, and blue morning noon and night. To break from that is hard. Even as I watch the doc I want to pull for ol’ GW, but I can’t do it.
The Franco-American experience is so unique. We have been here a heck of a lot longer than most immigrant groups. Most of our families “immigrated” to the USA between 1840 and 1930, but not on some ship. We were here already, and in most cases first.
The first two hours of TWTMA are great. We are literally killing it! You want Fort Duquesne? Nope! The Red Coats get legit destroyed by our Boys in Blue and their really amazing Native American allies. Fort William and Henry? Hit the bricks Monro that’s ours! With these amazing victories how the heck did we lose?
You begin to see a little glimpse of why we lost when the doc touches on the Expulsion of the Acadians or as it’s known to us Le Grand Dérangement. I really wish there was a bit more on this. The absolutely ridiculously cruel treatment of the Acadians is something that is never really brought up in American history class, other than brief footnotes. It was nothing short of ethnic cleansing and should not be forgotten.
Episode three and four really build to the British victory and France kind of abandoning us. Montcalm clearly tried to get help, but his pleas for assistance were mostly ignored. I mean I get it, France was more concerned about winning in Europe and around the globe.
Still stinks to leave us outgunned 18 men to 1.
The good news, we were so hard to beat we basically bankrupted England and forced them to tax the colonies. Did the British ask permission to levy taxes on these basically autonomous colonies…of course not. They looked down on them and expected them to just obey….oops. A Declaration of Independence, another war, and a TON of French help boom....you have the USA.
You’re welcome again, America.