This book begins by showing how histories of the Seven Years' War, especially those written in the United States, often begin with George Washington's blunderings in the Ohio Valley in 1754. Competing British, French, and Indian claims to lands west of the Appalachians formed one of the principal sources of international tension in the early 1750s, and when Washington's Virginia Regiment and Indian allies made contact with a larger French and Indian force east of the Forks of the Ohio, the sparks thrown off by the collision helped ignite a global conflagration. Later in life, when immersed in adversity, Washington enjoyed the inestimable advantage of having made and recovered from serious mistakes before. Examination of 1754 Ohio Valley events clarifies the causes of a major war and the career of a prominent figure.
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