The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years’ War (referred to as the French and Indian War in the United States). The confrontation, which began on 12 September 1759, was fought between the British Army and Navy, and the French Army, on a plateau just outside the walls of Quebec City. The battle involved fewer than 10,000 troops between both sides, but proved to be a deciding moment in the conflict between France and Britain over the fate of New France, influencing the later creation of Canada.
The culmination of a three-month siege by the British, the battle lasted less than an hour. British troops commanded by General James Wolfe successfully resisted the column advance of French troops and Canadian military under Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm, using new tactics that proved extremely effective against standard military formations used in most large European conflicts. Both generals were mortally wounded during the battle; Wolfe died on the field within minutes of engagement and Montcalm died the next morning. In the wake of the battle, France’s remaining military force in Canada and the rest of North America came under increasing pressure from British forces.
While the French forces continued to fight and prevailed in several battles after Quebec was captured, the British did not relinquish their hold on the fortress. That tenacity carried over to other areas in the North American theater; within four years, nearly all of France’s possessions in eastern North America would be ceded to Great Britain.