Independant Inquiry

Question: What were the main factors that led to the French losing the Battle of the Plains of Abraham?

Historical Significance: Outline the focus of your inquiry and provide background knowledge.  Why is this an important and significant question to ask about the past? Provide evidence from primary and secondary sources.

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham.  It was a fairly short battle that started with the British army, led by General James Wolfe, climbing up a cliff that started their route on the Plains of Abraham and ended with the French army, who were led by Marquis de Montcalm, retreating.  This important battle led to the retreatment of the French army and the overtaking of Quebec by the British.  But what were the main factors that led to the French losing this historical battle. It was very easy to tell that this battle was not going to go in the favour of the French almost immediately, so what was it about the French attack and defense against the British attack and defense that made this fact so obvious.  Well it had to do with many reasons: Montcalm’s call to not wait for backup and instead go into the battle with only 4500 men, how Wolfe trained his 4500 soldiers specifically for this battle while the French were not very prepared, or it had something to do with how the French fired their ammunition right away from to far for the bullets to reach the impending opposing army.  These were probably the main and most impactful causes to why the French army lost.

Cause and Consequence: Why did your research events happen the way they did and what were the consequences?

These three events impacted the outcome of the battle in huge ways. One of the big ones was the variation of the preparedness for these two opposing armies.  So the two armies both with around 4500 men, yet one has soldiers who are trained for this battle and one with soldiers who are surprised by the attack and in comparison unprepared. The circumstances started out with the French not looking good. Yet this could have been changed. Another key decision that perhaps could have persuaded the outcome of this particular battle would be Montcalm’s decision to proceed to the battle without the advantage of having the upper hand with the amount of people in his army.  Montcalm decided to meet the British right away without the aid of allied forces. If he had waited for backup maybe Canadian history might be written differently but sadly we would never know.  The last of these main three events would have to be the fact that the French fired their muskets way to far out.  The bullets did not stand a chance at hitting their intended target. This greatly affected the French side of this battle for the guns back in this time would take a long time to load.  Because the French had already fired this gave British the upper hand. The could effectively hit their targets because they had the advantage of striking at the right moment. All of these different factors definitely made the battle go in one particular way.

Ethical Judgement: Is what happened right and fair by the values and standards of the time? How about from our current values and standards? Explain.

I think that the Battle was definitely played out fairly by the values of the past and the values of today.  The British used tactics to defeat the French, and due to how the French reacted, in my opinion, rather poorly in comparison to how they could have handed the invading British army.

Social Studies Inquiry Processes: What conclusions can you reach about your question, based on the research you conducted?

Although we will never know for sure the factors that made the French lose, well unless the secrets to time travel are discovered, we can definitely speculate what those factors are.  So even there is many factors that influenced the outcome of the Battle of the plains of Abraham I’ve come to my own conclusion that the biggest contributors to the French losing this significant battle would be due to the difference in armies, the decision to not get backup, and also the decision to start the first volley of attacks from 120 yards away from the first of the British troops.
Also if anybody wants to earn a little more or even have just a quick overview on the battle; I discovered a nice summary of the battle in 3 minute video form.

5 thoughts on “Independant Inquiry

  1. Hey, Megan!

    Gonna get right to the point here and say that my first star is the video. It was a great addition to the post.

    My second star is the description of why the musket range and French missing their volley was such a big issue.

    The connection to my DOL would probably be the hostility between the English and French, as the Hudson Bay Company’s control over Rupert’s Land was the driving force behind several naval battles between the two rival nations.

    Well, that’s it!


  2. Very nice Document of Learning Megan!
    You demonstrate great critical-thinking abilities in this DOL, making your analysis of the French’s defeat easy to follow. Your points are very clear to the reader, and your logic is laid out in a succinct manner!
    I also greatly admire your understanding of the speculations that exist in history, and how we may never know what could’ve happened if Montcalm had a different decision. I appreciate your ability to infer circumstances using evidence and logic.
    Since we share the similar topic of the Battles of Plains of Abraham, my post had a lot of connection to yours! One interesting that I would like to point was the fact that Wolfe was likely the reason why Montcalm’s army consisted of untrained men. Wolfe treated French villagers quite terribly during the period and drove a lot of untrained civilians to join Montcalm’s militia out of spite for the British. Combining both your research and my inquiry, I daresay that Wolfe was indirectly responsible for the poor military tactics on the French side.
    Keep up the great work Megan!
    -Deon :3

  3. Hey Megan!
    I really liked how in-depth your analysis of the battle was. You took into account the amount of soldiers, range of muskets and even experience of soldiers in your analysis. I also liked the video at the end. It really conclude the blog post and piece together all of the information. In my blog post, I talked about the technology that the French and the British used in the Seven Year War, so I can connect with the part where you talk about the French musket range and reload rate.
    Good job!
    – Edward

  4. Hey Megan,

    Your post looked a bit hurried, but the conclusions that you arrived at are definitely valid and convincing. I like how you separated your “body paragraph” into three main points, trying to follow the PEE format. You also emphasized your points clearly on multiple occasions, helping them leave a deeper impression on the viewers.
    A second star would be your decision to include the video. Many of us are not aware of what actually happened in the battle, and the video explains just that, building a foundation for us to understand your post.
    A connection from this post to my post about the CPR would be how both aimed at “capturing” territories for economic and social reasons. In both cases, sacrifices were made (death, “slavery” like workers), only to be covered by the other, more glorious side of the story.

    PS. sorry I posted this late, I had typed this and forgot to post it. I was closing my tabs today and chrome told me “are you sure you want to close this tab, it contains unsaved information”. Oh well.

  5. Great Inquiry Megan! I loved the added video, it helps me visualize the battle. Your blog has so much information yet it is very concise. Your inquiry question is also very interesting and thoroughly answered. Great job!

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