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On October 7, 1763, a royal proclamation was made by King George III following the British victory over France in the French and Indian Wars. It was designed to halt any expansion and settlement of colonists to the west, which was perceived as beneficial to Native Americans and detrimental to colonists.
See the fact file below for more information on the Proclamation of 1763 or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Proclamation of 1763 worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The imperial struggle between Britain and France was tested during the Seven Years’ War, also called the French and Indian Wars in the colony. In 1756, Britain declared war against France after the French expansion to the Ohio River. It was part of a greater conflict centered in Europe between these two powers.
- When the war began, Louisiana Territory and Canada were under the French Empire. The French fought the British along with the native people of North America.
- Prior to William Pitt’s entry to the war, the British faced numerous defeats from the French and the native people of North America. Following his appointment as the new Secretary of State, he borrowed money to support the cause of war and paid Prussia to fight in Europe.
- After several victories, the British won the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 and occupied Quebec. The Native Americans began to abandon the French. After a year, the British controlled Montreal, which unofficially ended the war. It was only on February 10, 1763, when the Treaty of Paris was signed that the war was officially over, granting all the French Territory in North America west of the Mississippi to the British Empire.
- In addition, the treaty also gave the British the Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Moreover, Florida, a Spanish territory, was given to Britain after Spain joined France in the later years of the war. As a result, the treaty strengthened American colonies after eliminating European rivals.
- Pontiac, an Ottawa Chief, started a rebellion against the British in 1762. He recruited every Indian tribe from Lake Superior to the lower Mississippi to take back the French territory from British rule. In 1766, when Pontiac’s alliance with other tribes broke down and the French refused to support him, he signed a treaty with the British. Pontiac was murdered by a Peoria Indian in 1769.
The Royal Proclamation
- In his attempt to prevent similar situations like Pontiac’s rebellion, King George III of Britain issued a royal proclamation on October 7, 1763. The proclamation established four new mainland colonies of Quebec, West Florida, East Florida and Grenada, which extended southern Georgia’s border. Moreover, soldiers who had fought during the Seven Years’ War were given land.
- Colonists occupying the west were relocated and were prohibited from purchasing tribal lands, except for the crown. The proclamation also banned colonial settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains. His Majesty reiterated that the proclamation was designed to avoid abuse, fraud, and quarrels committed by the colonists against the Native Americans.
- “…it is just reasonable and essential to our interest, and the Security of our Colonies, that the several Nations or Tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as not having been ceded to or purchased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting grounds…”
Excerpt from the Proclamation of 1763
- Furthermore, the proclamation limited trade with Native Americans to licensed traders. Such limitation enabled the British to monopolize the fur trade with the native people.
- The Indian land and territories were safeguarded through the Proclamation Line along the Appalachian Mountains. It was an attempt to separate white settlements from Indian nations. As a result, the colonists perceived that the proclamation was beneficial to Native Americans but detrimental to them.
Effects to the Colonists
- As seen in the map, the Proclamation line served as the boundary line between the British colonies on the Atlantic coast of America and American Indian land. It ran west of the Appalachian Mountains and south of Hudson Bay in Florida.
- In order to enforce the boundary, the British Administration made a costly venture to establish posts along the border. The colonists reacted badly since the cost of such action was imposed on them through taxation. They resented the proclamation and joined land speculators in Britain to lobby the government. They specifically wanted to move the line further west, which was then adjusted after a series of treaties with the Native American Indians.
- The discontentment of colonists over the Proclamation of 1763 was overshadowed by a series of other complaints against the British, including the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Act, Boston Massacre and others, which contributed to the American Revolution.
- Even though the proclamation was rendered contentious by the Americans after their independence in 1783, it still serves as a legal basis for native land rights in Canada today.
Proclamation of 1763 Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Proclamation of 1763 across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Proclamation of 1763 worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Proclamation of 1763. On October 7, 1763, a royal proclamation was made by King George III following the British victory over France in the French and Indian Wars. It was designed to halt any expansion and settlement of colonists to the west, which was perceived as beneficial to Native Americans and detrimental to colonists.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Proclamation of 1763 Facts
- Mapping 1763
- Prior to 1763: The Seven Years’ War
- By the King
- Indian Hunt
- After 1763: Colonial Taxes
- Cause and Effect
- Words of 1763
- 1763 Announcement Board
- Yes or No?
- Native Land Rights
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