Britain victorious on the Plains of Abraham - HISTORY
Year
1759

Britain victorious on the Plains of Abraham

During the Seven Years War, a worldwide conflict known as the French and Indian War in America, the British under General James Wolfe achieve a dramatic victory when they scale the cliffs over the city of Quebec, defeating the Marquis de Montcalm’s French forces on the Plains of Abraham. Wolfe himself was fatally wounded during the battle, but his victory ensured British supremacy in Canada. Montcalm also suffered a mortal wound during the battle.

In the early 1750s, French expansion into the Ohio River valley repeatedly brought France into armed conflict with the British colonies. In 1756–the first official year of fighting in the Seven Years War–the British suffered a series of defeats against the French and their broad network of Native American alliances. However, in 1757, British Prime Minister William Pitt (the older) recognized the potential of imperial expansion that would come out of victory against the French and borrowed heavily to fund an expanded war effort. Pitt financed Prussia’s struggle against France and her allies in Europe and reimbursed the colonies for the raising of armies in North America.

By 1760, the French had been expelled from Canada, and by 1763 all of France’s allies in Europe had either made a separate peace with Prussia or had been defeated. In addition, Spanish attempts to aid France in the Americas had failed, and France also suffered defeats against British forces in India.

The Seven Years War ended with the signing of the treaties of Hubertusburg and Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south. Fifteen years later, French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American Revolution on the side of the Patriots.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Massacre at Attica Prison

The four-day revolt at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, ends when hundreds of state police officers storm the complex in a hail of gunfire. Thirty-nine people were killed in the disastrous assault, including 29 prisoners and 10 prison ...read more

Israel-Palestine peace accord signed

After decades of bloody animosity, representatives of Israel and Palestine meet on the South Lawn of the White House and sign a framework for peace. The “Declaration of Principles” was the first agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians towards ending their conflict and ...read more

George Wallace dies

George Wallace, one of the most controversial politicians in U.S. history, dies in Montgomery, Alabama, at the age of 79.George Corley Wallace was born in Clio, Alabama, the son of a farmer. He worked his way through the University of Alabama Law School and after World War II ...read more

Oprah gives away nearly 300 new cars

On this day in 2004, TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey gives a brand-new Pontiac G-6 sedan, worth $28,500, to everyone in her studio audience: a total of 276 cars in all.) Oprah had told her producers to fill the crowd with people who “desperately needed” the cars, and when she ...read more

Key pens Star-Spangled Banner

On this day in 1814, Francis Scott Key pens a poem which is later set to music and in 1931 becomes America’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem, originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry,” was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded ...read more

Large operation begins in the DMZ

The largest sustained operation inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) opens when U.S. and South Vietnamese infantry and armored troops, supported by planes, artillery, and U.S. Navy ships, move two miles into the buffer zone to relieve enemy pressure on Allied bases along the ...read more

Bob Feller strikes out 17 at 17

On this day in 1936, 17-year-old Cleveland Indians pitching ace “Rapid” Robert Feller strikes out 17 batters in a game, setting a new American League record. Feller allowed just two hits in the game to help his team to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia A’s.Feller was born ...read more

Tupac Shakur dies

Hip hop star Tupac Shakur dies on September 13, 1996 of gunshot wounds suffered in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting.More than a decade after his death on this day in 1996, rapper Tupac Shakur remains one of the most recognizable faces and voices in hip-hop. A steady stream of ...read more

Children’s author Roald Dahl is born

On this day in 1916, Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and James and the Giant Peach (1961), is born in South Wales.Dahl’s childhood was filled with tragedy. His father and sister died when Dahl was three, and he was later brutally abused at his ...read more

Law & Order debuts

On this day in 1990, the drama series Law & Order premieres on NBC; it will go on to become one of the longest-running primetime dramas in TV history and spawn several popular spin-offs. According to the now-famous Law & Order formula, the first half of the hour-long program, ...read more

Devastating storm heads toward Caribbean

Hurricane Hugo approaches the Leeward Islands on this day in 1989. Over the next 12 days, Hugo would kill 75 people from the island of Guadeloupe to South Carolina.Beginning as a thunderstorm that formed off the west coast of Africa on September 9, the storm slowly gathered ...read more

Attica prison riot ends

A four-day riot at Attica Prison comes to a violent end as law enforcement officials open fire, killing 29 inmates and 10 hostages and injuring many more. The prison insurrection was the bloodiest in U.S. history.On the morning of September 9, 1971, a group of inmates at the ...read more