War with the Natchez, who resented the French for encroaching on their lands, had begun in 1729. In November of that year the Natchez attacked Fort Rosalie, killing more than 200 French settlers. In retaliation, the French, with help from the Choctaw, killed most of the Natchez and, in the following years, enslaved or scattered the rest.
The animosity of the Natchez was fueled by traders from Great Britain, which in the early 18th century was engaged in a long struggle with France for control of North America. In Mississippi the Chickasaw also sided with the British, and so eventually they too clashed with the French. However, the Chickasaw were noted warriors and proved a much tougher adversary than the Natchez.
In 1736 the Chickasaw decisively defeated a French force led by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, Iberville’s brother and the governor of Louisiana, in the Battle of Ackia near the site of present-day Tupelo. Largely as a result of that defeat, French control of Mississippi was restricted to the southern part.
In the early 1760s the lengthy colonial struggle between France and Great Britain finally ended with France’s defeat in the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Under the terms of the treaty ending the war, Great Britain acquired all of the former French claim east of the Mississippi River, including all of the present state of Mississippi. New Orleans and the territory west of the river had been ceded to Spain during the war.
Under the British that part of Mississippi south of latitude 31° north was included in the province of West Florida. The British moved the boundary northward and finally set it between latitudes 32° and 33° north, near present-day Vicksburg, in 1767. The king of Great Britain, by the Royal Proclamation of 1763, reserved the area north of that line for Native Americans, and settlement by whites was forbidden there without the permission of the Native American inhabitants. South of that line, settlers came from the British Atlantic Seaboard colonies. They were attracted particularly to the rich virgin bluffs around Natchez. During the American Revolution (1775-1783) the rate of migration increased as Loyalists (colonists loyal to the king) fled from the rebelling colonies.
Across the Mississippi River from West Florida was the remainder of Louisiana, now governed by Spain. During the American Revolution, Spain declared war on Great Britain. The governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez, led Spanish forces that captured major settlements in West Florida, including Baton Rouge, Natchez, and Pensacola. In 1781 Gálvez took over the administration of the region. Great Britain ceded West Florida to Spain in the peace treaty of 1783. "Mississippi" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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