The change from Dutch to English control did not offer immediate democratic benefits to the residents. What had been Dutch patroonships became English manors. Urban affairs were dominated by a growing mercantile minority who translated their wealth into political power. Resentment of the influence of the rich would lead to outbursts such as Leisler's Rebellion and the Zenger case. The accession of William III in 1689 opened an era of European warfare whose American component was a Contest for Empire involving the English, the native inhabitants and the French. New York played prominently in this drama because of its geographic position, which allowed control of major lakes and rivers, the superhighways of the era. Battles were fought at Crown Point, Fort Niagara and Fort Ticonderoga. The Iroquois Confederacy attempted to remain neutral during the early wars, but clearly sided with the British in the final conflict, the French and Indian War. The Algonquian usually supported the French. From the white settlers' viewpoint, the wars were significant because they delayed the development of the interior regions. Once peace was concluded in 1763, the rush was on to claim wilderness lands and conflicts between colonists and Native Americans increased.