Thanks to its large population and booming economy, the Thirteen Colonies had a potential military power that was greater than that of New France. Each colony could provide more militiamen than the 10,000 men of New France.

For a long time, however, divisions between the colonies and a lack of support from England had left the colonies vulnerable to the French and its allies. Moreover, New France was able to defend itself because it had a better knowledge of forest battles and more importantly, because of its alliances with Native people.

In 1744, the colonies demonstrated their military power. The governor of Massachusetts was able to send an expedition against the French fortress of Louisbourg on Île Royale (Cape Breton Island). Some 4,000 militiamen, 15 ships from Massachusetts and 11 English ships attacked the town. After a siege of seven weeks, the French surrendered. The greatest French fortress in America had been captured by colonial militiamen!

Author: Léon Robichaud

See also – Traces of the past:

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