Skip to main content

Amherst: Hero Of World War Iv?

March 2023
1min read

My father, who lived to a very advanced age, spread utter confusion among several successive generations of school children by asking them who won the French and Indian War, the French or the Indians. But I daresay that if we should use the phrase “French and Indian War” to an English schoolboy or the average British man-on-the-street, we could spread some confusion across the water, too. For the terminology that they are used to suggests something more inclusive. The French and Indian War was a part of a larger whole. It was part of a great world war. Professor Crane Brinton likes to remind his readers that what we call World War I and World War II should more accurately be denominated World War, say, VII and VIII. Following along with this terminology, the Seven Years’ War, of which the French and Indian War was a part, would be World War IV. World War I would be what is more usually called the War of the League of Augsburg or, in the more parochial terminology of the North American continent, King William’s War. World War II would be the War of the Spanish Succession, made illustrious by Marlborough’s victories, and called by American historians Queen Anne’s War. Then there was King George’s War, World War III, known to European historians as the War of the Austrian Succession. And then the Seven Years’ War, of which the French and Indian War was a part. World Wars V and VI would be the War of American Independence and the long struggle with Napoleon.

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this 72-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.


Stories published from "December 1960"

Authored by: Lorraine Dexter

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes asserted “a slight claim on the gratitude of mankind” for inventing a cheap and handy device for viewing three-dimensional photographs. History is still in his debt for the craze he started and the pictures it has left behind

Authored by: Anne Firor Scott

When Jane Addams opened Hull House for Chicago’s immigrants, she began asking questions a local politician preferred not to answer

Authored by: Duncan Emrich

How folklore, the Reformation, and three inventive New Yorkers turned a dimly known Near Eastern saint into a jolly, secular Santa Claus

Authored by: Fred L. Engelman

At Ghent five Americans—divided and far from home—held firm for a treaty that won their nation new respect, and began a lasting alliance

Authored by: Thomas F. Mcgann

Marooned on the coast of Texas, he wandered for eight years in a land no European had ever seen

Authored by: Dickson Hartwell

Rugged, versatile, and nearly indestructible, this four-wheel substitute for the horse has become one of World War II’s enduring legends

Authored by: Francis Russell

Lord Jeffery’s name is “known to fame,” but it was the five years he spent in America that rescued him from obscurity

Authored by: Robert Cenedella

That splendid flower of New England— the town meeting—wilts under the scrutiny of a native son

Authored by: Robert L. Reynolds

In Alaska a much-abused Secretary of State saw a fabulous bargain, and what might have been a Russian beachhead became instead our forty-ninth state

Authored by: Ivan T. Sanderson

So the lookout’s cry resounded while Yankee whalers roamed the seas. Their perilous, arduous trade spanned three centuries

Featured Articles

The world’s most prominent actress risked her career by standing up to one of Hollywood’s mega-studios, proving that behind the beauty was also a very savvy businesswoman. 

Rarely has the full story been told about how a famed botanist, a pioneering female journalist, and First Lady Helen Taft battled reluctant bureaucrats to bring Japanese cherry trees to Washington. 

Often thought to have been a weak president, Carter was strong-willed in doing what he thought was right, regardless of expediency or the political fallout.

Why have thousands of U.S. banks failed over the years? The answers are in our history and politics.

In his Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln embodied leading in a time of polarization, political disagreement, and differing understandings of reality.