Montcalm and Wolfe eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 931 pages of information about Montcalm and Wolfe.

[Footnote 124:  The extent of British claims is best shown on two maps of the time, Mitchell’s Map of the British and French Dominions in North America and Huske’s New and Accurate Map of North America; both are in the British Museum.  Dr. John Mitchell, in his Contest in America (London, 1757) pushes the English claim to its utmost extreme, and denies that the French were rightful owners of anything in North America except the town of Quebec and the trading-post of Tadoussac.  Besides the claim founded on the subjection of the Iroquois to the British Crown, the English somewhat inconsistently advanced others founded on titles obtained by treaty from these same tribes, and others still, founded on the original grants of some of the colonies, which ran indefinitely westward across the continent.]

The commissioners at Paris broke up their sessions, leaving as the monument of their toils four quarto volumes of allegations, arguments, and documentary proofs.[125] Out of the discussion rose also a swarm of fugitive publications in French, English, and Spanish; for the question of American boundaries had become European.  There was one among them worth notice from its amusing absurdity.  It is an elaborate disquisition, under the title of Roman politique, by an author faithful to the traditions of European diplomacy, and inspired at the same time by the new philosophy of the school of Rousseau.  He insists that the balance of power must be preserved in America as well as in Europe, because “Nature,” “the aggrandizement of the human soul,” and the “felicity of man” are unanimous in demanding it.  The English colonies are more populous and wealthy than the French; therefore the French should have more land, to keep the balance.  Nature, the human soul, and the felicity of man require that France should own all the country beyond the Alleghanies and all Acadia but a strip of the south coast, according to the “sublime negotiations” of the French commissioners, of which the writer declares himself a “religious admirer."[126]

[Footnote 125:  Memoires des Commissaires de Sa Majeste Tres Chretienne et de ceux de Sa Majeste Brittanique.  Paris, 1755.  Several editions appeared.]

[Footnote 126:  Roman politique sur l’Etat present des Affaires de l’Amerique (Amsterdam, 1756).  For extracts from French Documents, see Appendix B.]

We know already that France had used means sharper than negotiation to vindicate her claim to the interior of the continent; had marched to the sources of the Ohio to entrench herself there, and hold the passes of the West against all comers.  It remains to see how she fared in her bold enterprise.

Chapter 5

1753, 1754


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Montcalm and Wolfe from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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