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Proclamation of 1763

PROCLAMATION OF 1763

PROCLAMATION OF 1763, issued by the British government regulating the settlement of land in North America. It was prepared in part by William Petty Fitzmaurice, Lord Shelburne, and was proclaimed by the Crown on 2 October. By it, parts of the territory in America acquired through the Treaty of Paris earlier in the year were organized as the provinces of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada; the laws of England were extended to these provinces; and provision was made for the establishment of general assemblies in them. Settlement within the new provinces was encouraged by grants of land to British veterans of the French and Indian War.

The proclamation called for a new strategy to conciliate the Indians. The governors of the provinces and colonies were forbidden to grant lands "beyond the Heads or Sources of any of the Rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the West and North West." An Indian reservation was thus established south of the lands of the Hudson's Bay Company, west of Quebec and the Appalachian Mountains, and north of the boundary line of the Floridas. Settlement upon the Indian lands was prohibited, and settlers already on such lands were commanded "to remove themselves." Furthermore, private purchases of land from the Indians were forbidden; prior acquisitions in the Indian reservation were voided; and future purchases were to be made by licensed traders for the Crown alone.

For more than a decade successive ministries had been dissatisfied with the management of Indian relations by the different colonies. Rivalry among the colonies for Indian trade, and in some cases for western lands, had led to abuses by the governors of their power over trade and land grants, arousing a justified resentment among the Indians. The success of the French in conciliating the Indians strengthened the argument in favor of imperial control of Indian affairs.

The appointment in 1756 of two regional superintendents of Indian affairs had been the first step toward the British government's control of Indian relations. Sir William Johnson, superintendent of the northern Indians, urged the fixing of a line west of which settlement should be prohibited. The danger from the Indians during the French and Indian War automatically fixed such a line at the Appalachian Mountains. Settlers, however, disregarding the proclamations, swarmed over the mountains, and their encroachments were one of the causes of Pontiac's War. The Proclamation of 1763 was an attempt to check their advance until some agreement could be negotiated with the Indians. The proclamation was not intended to change the boundaries of the old colonies; nevertheless, many in the colonies resented it as an interference in their affairs. After Pontiac's War, negotiations with the Indians resulted in the treaties of Hard Labor, Fort Stanwix, and Lochaber, by which a new line was drawn. In 1774 the Quebec Act added the remainder of the Indian reservation north of the Ohio River to the province of Quebec. This aroused resentment in some of the thirteen colonies already close to rebellion, since it was seen as an attempt to deprive them of their claims to western lands.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jennings, Francis. Empire of Fortune: Crowns, Colonies, and Tribes in the Seven Years War in America. New York: Norton, 1988.

Sosin, Jack M. The Revolutionary Frontier, 1763–1783. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1967.

Solon J.Buck/a. r.

See alsoFlorida ; Georgiana ; Indian Policy, Colonial ; Indian Reservations ; Paris, Treaty of (1763) ; Western Lands ; Westward Migration .

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"Proclamation of 1763." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Proclamation of 1763." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/proclamation-1763

"Proclamation of 1763." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved June 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/proclamation-1763

Proclamation of 1763

PROCLAMATION OF 1763


The British government intended the Proclamation of 1763 partly as a war measure and partly as a means of administering the new territory taken from France under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. It had two main provisions that affected the colonists. First, the British government drew a line along the watershed of the Appalachian Mountainsthe point at which waters run downhill either to the Atlantic Ocean in the east or to the Mississippi River drainage system in the westseparating colonial territory from that of the Native Americans. All lands west of the line were reserved exclusively for Indians, and any settlers living in Indian territory were required to leave. Secondly, in order to make certain that peace was maintained on the American frontier, the British government arranged for the garrisoning of up to 10,000 soldiers in the colonies. The cost of their upkeep, British Prime Minister George Grenville decided, would be borne by the colonists an estimated 250,000 pounds sterling per year.


Although some members of the British government may have had a sincere desire to protect the land rights of Native Americans, their main intention was to evade more expensive Indian wars. By limiting white settlement to areas east of the Appalachian watershed, the government hoped to minimize conflict between Indians and colonists. However, Grenville's government also wanted to tie the American colonies closer to England. The British worried that settlers who moved to lands across the Appalachians and lost direct contact with the British Empire would form economic ties with the Mississippi Valley, then under Spanish control. They also realized that these settlers would need to manufacture some goods for themselves, rather than importing them from England. The British feared that in time such local industries would undercut imperial trade. The simplest way to prevent these things from happening was to forbid settlement west of the Appalachians. This would also keep colonial settlers from drifting away from a market economy. A settler who went far into the interior and began to live in a subsistent economy without using money, would soon lose contact with other colonists and, eventually, also his allegiance to the British crown.

The second part of the Proclamation also threatened American economic prosperity. Grenville's government had inherited a national debt of 137 million pounds sterling, almost twice what it had been before the beginning of the war with France. The costs of administering the North American empire, Grenville concluded, could well be borne by the colonists, whose debt amounted to only 2.6 million pounds sterling. But the colonies were suffering from a severe post-war depression, and hard cash, or specie (minted gold and silver), was in short supply because of the colonial trade deficit with Great Britain. Most colonial specie was used to pay English or Scottish merchants for goods the colonists had imported.

In order to raise the 250,000 pounds sterling needed to fund the frontier troops, Grenville's government put together a series of direct and indirect taxes on colonial goods and services, including the Sugar Act, the Currency Act, and the Stamp Act. These taxes led to conflict between the American colonies and England, eventually culminating in the American Revolution (17751783).

See also: Stamp Act, Sugar Act


FURTHER READING

Jennings, Francis. Empire of Fortune: Crown, Colonies, and Tribes in the Seven Years' War. New York: W. W. Norton, 1988.

Leach, Douglas E. Roots of Conflict: British Armed Forces and Colonial Americans, 16771763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.

Middleton, Richard. The Bells of Victory: The Pitt-Newcastle Ministry and the Conduct of the Seven Years' War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Schwartz, Seymour I. The French and Indian War, 17541763: The Imperial Struggle for North America. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Walton, Gary M., and James F. Shepherd. The Economic Rise of Early America. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979.

we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatever who have either willfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any lands . . . reserved to the said indians . . . forthwith to remove themselves from such settlements.

text of the proclamation of 1763

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Proclamation of 1763

Proclamation of 1763 British government edict designed to restrain encroachment on Native American lands by settlers following the French and Indian Wars. It forbade settlement west of the line of the Appalachians and ordered those who had already settled there to vacate the area.

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"Proclamation of 1763." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Proclamation of 1763." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/proclamation-1763