History of Queen Anne’s War

Queen Anne’s War was a conflict between England, Spain, Portugal, Savoy and France in North America during the early 18th century.

The war was the second in a series of
French and Indian Wars in North America and was also the North
American theater of the War of the Spanish Succession.

Who Fought in Queen Anne’s War?

  • England
  • Iroquois Confederacy
  • France
  • Spain
  • Wabanaki Confederacy

Who Won Queen Anne’s War?

The British won Queen Anne’s War.

When Did Queen Anne’s War Take Place?

Queen Anne’s War was fought between

Where Did Queen Anne’s War Take Place?

  • Spanish Florida
  • Colony of South Carolina
  • Province of Massachusetts Bay
  • Province of New Hampshire
  • New France

What Caused Queen Anne’s War?

The build up to the War of the Spanish
Succession began in November of 1700 when the childless Spanish King
Charles II, a member of the Hapsburg family, died and left the
Monarchy of Spain to the grandson of King Louis XIV of France, a
member of the rival Bourbon family.

William III of England had wanted the
Holy Roman Emperor, also a member of the Hapsburg family, to ascend
to the Spanish throne instead, with the hopes that an alliance with
the emperor would help England gain control of certain Spanish held
locations in the Netherlands and Italy, and disputed the lack of
separation between the Spanish and French crowns, fearing that it
threatened the European balance of power.

In March of 1702, William III died and
his sister-in-law, Queen Anne, ascended to the English throne. A few
months later, England joined the conflict when it declared war on
Spain and France in May of 1702.

Queen Anne, illustration published in The Border Wars of New England, circa 1897

The fighting eventually spilled over into the English and French North American colonies where there were many unresolved conflicts left over from King William’s War, according to Samuel Adams Drake in his book The Border Wars of New England:

“In view of its probable murderous character, it would perhaps be too much to say that the war was popular in New England. But the people were intensely loyal to the cause of Protestantism, of which William was the recognized champion, and intensely partisan, too. They resented, as warmly as all Protestant England did, the insult put upon the nation in challenging William’s right to the throne. Canada was wholly Catholic. Those in authority there took their cue from their royal master in declaring William a usurper.” (Drake 147-48)

Essentially, one of the most
fundamental issues of the war was the long-standing rivalry between
England and France, a conflict that had been left unresolved after
King William’s War ended in 1697.

What Happened During Queen Anne’s War?

Queen Anne’s War was fought on three

The English colonists of New England
fought the French and Indian forces based in Acadia
and New France.

The English colonists from St. John’s
in Newfoundland fought the French colonists from Plaisance in

The English colonists of the Province
of Carolina and Georgia fought the Spanish and French based in

In the early years of the war, French and Indian forces repeatedly attacked the New England colonies during numerous raids on New England border settlements, according to an article in American Heritage magazine:

“Much of the actual fighting was small-scale, hit-and-run, more a matter of improvisation than of formal strategy and tactics. Losses in any single encounter might be only a few, but they did add up. Occasionally the scale widened, and entire towns became targets. Lancaster and Haverhill, Massachusetts; Salmon Falls and Oyster River, New Hampshire; York and Wells, Maine: Each suffered days of wholesale attack. And Deerfield, Massachusetts—above all, Deerfield—scene of the region’s single, most notorious ‘massacre.’”

response to these raids, the New England colonists retaliated by
attacking French settlements in Nova Scotia in July of 1704.

in the south, the English navy captured the Caribbean
island of St. Christopher from the French in the summer of 1702,
while Spanish and Apalachee Indian forces attacked Creek Indians in
Georgia during the Battle of Flint River in October of 1702, while
from the Province of Carolina attacked and captured the town of St.
Augustine, Florida, in November of 1702, although they failed to
capture the Spanish fortress Castillo de San Marcos.

August of 1703, the Northeast Coast Campaign began, during which
French colonial forces and the Wabanaki Confederacy attacked and
destroyed a number of English settlements on the coast of present-day
Maine between Wells and Casco Bay over the course of three months.

1704, Carolina colonial forces conducted a series of raids, known as
the Apalachee Massacre, in Spanish Florida that destroyed a network
of Spanish missions and killed and captured much of the population in
the area.

New France, the English colonists attacked Bonavista in
Newfoundland in August of 1704.

One of the deadliest conflicts in the war occurred on February 29, 1704, when a force of 50 Frenchmen and 200 Abenaki warriors attacked Deerfield, Massachusetts, where they killed 53 settlers and took 111 prisoners.

settlers retaliated by attacking French settlements alongside their
own Indian allies, the Mohawks, in a series of small raids that raged
on for years.

such raid occurred in June of 1704, when over 500 New England
colonial forces led by Benjamin Church embarked on a raiding
expedition in Acadia, known as the Raid on Grand Pre, and went on to
create a blockade around Port Royal.

successfully capturing Grand Pre, Church and his troops spent three
days destroying the town, including its crops, dikes and levees,
before moving on to attack other settlements in the area and then
returning to Massachusetts in July.

September of 1706, the Charles Town Expedition took place, during
which both French and Spanish forces combined in an attempt to
capture the capital of the English Province of
Carolina, Charles Town, but were thwarted by local militia.

the summer of 1707, New England colonial forces made two major
efforts to capture Port Royal, Acadia but both attempts failed.

January of 1709, French forces from Plaisance in Newfoundland
captured St. John’s, the capital of the British colony at
Newfoundland. French resources were too limited to hold St. John’s
though so in April they destroyed its fortifications and abandoned

June of 1709, French colonial volunteers and their native allies
attacked the Hudson Bay Outpost at Fort Albany in present-day Ontario
but failed to capture it.

in the fall of 1709, the English government agreed to help the
colonists in the conflict and sent them five warships staffed with
400 marines.

new fleet of warships sailed to Port Royal where they helped the
English colonists achieve their most notable colonial success in the
war when they captured Port Royal, Nova Scotia, on Oct. 16, 1710.
Port Royal was renamed Annapolis in honor of the
English queen, while Acadia was renamed Nova Scotia.

In response to the capture of Port
Royal, in June of 1711, the Battle of Bloody Creek took place, during
which an Abenaki militia successfully ambushed British and New
England soldiers in a creek near the Annapolis River in an attempt by
the leaders of New France to weaken the British hold on Annapolis.

August of 1711, British and New England forces attempted to conquer
Quebec, a military action known as the Quebec Expedition, but failed
when seven British warships were wrecked enroute to Quebec.

How Did Queen Anne’s War End?

The War of the Spanish Succession ended
when England, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic signed the Treaty
of Utrecht, which was a series of individual peace treaties between
the various European countries, in between the years 1713 and 1715.

The treaty made Philip V, grandson of
Louis XIV, King of Spain. It also forced France to give England some
of its land in North America and the Caribbean, including
Newfoundland, Acadia, the Hudson Bay region of northeastern Canada
and the island of St. Kitts in the West Indies. Spain was forced to
give England the island of Minorca and Gibraltar.

Furthermore, England was awarded the
Asiento contract, which gave them exclusive rights to supply Spain’s
American colonies with black slaves, at the rate of 4,800 a year, for
30 years.

How Did Queen Anne’s War Affect the Colonies?

to Charles Augustus Goodrich in his book A History of the United
States, the New England colonies bore the brunt of the war:

“The whole weight of the war in America, unexpectedly fell on New-England. The geographical position of New York particularly exposed that colony to a combined attack from the lakes and sea; but just before the commencement of hostilities, a treaty of neutrality was concluded between the Five Nations and the French governour of Canada. The local situation of the Five Nations, bordering on the frontiers of New York, prevented the French from molesting that colony; Massachusetts and New Hampshire were thus left to bear the chief calamities of war.” (Goodrich 73).

Despite the Treaty of Utrecht, the fighting between the French, English and Native-Americans continued in North America for a number of years after the treaty was signed.

Even after the fighting stopped, resentment between the British and the French continued until war broke out once again in 1744 with King George’s War.

Drake, Sir Frances. The Border Wars of New England: Commonly Called King William’s and Queen Anne’s Wars. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1897.
Demos, John. “The Deerfield Massacre.” American Heritage, February/March 1993, Volume 44, Issue 1, www.americanheritage.com/deerfield-massacre
Goodrich, Charles Augustus. A History of the United States of America. James Cutler & Co, 1832.
“1702 – Queen Anne’s War.” The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, www.colonialwarsct.org/1702.htm