The French and Indian War, which took place between 1754-1763, began due to a conflict between England and France over control of the Ohio River Valley. Both sides wanted the valley so they could expand their settlements into the area.
A historical figure in the war was George Washington. He was a Virginia officer who was defeated by the French at Fort Necessity and forced to retreat.
Another historical figure in the war was Benjamin Franklin. He proposed the Albany Plan of Union to unite the colonies and form an American militia.
An important event that happened in the war was when the British were defeated at Fort Duquesne in 1755. General Braddock's force of 1450 men were surrounded and defeated by Indian and French-Canadian forces.
Another important even that happened in the war was in 1763 when the Treaty of Paris was signed. France gave up claims to all of it's North American possessions. All land west of the Mississippi and New Orleans goes to Spain. All land east of the Mississippi River and Canada goes to England.
The British victory in the French and Indian War had a great impact on the British Empire. Firstly, it meant a great expansion of British territorial claims in the New World. The war had an equally profound but different impact on the American colonists. First of all, the colonists had learned to unite against a common foe. Before the war the colonies never found common ground and coexisted in mutual distrust.