Proclamation of 1763

Proclamation of 1763


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In class we often hear that the “Proclamation of 1763 was one of the causes of the American Revolution” as it upset the Patriots who felt they fought the French and Indians for their freedom to occupy this land to the west of the mountains.Below please find a summary of my research on this topic.  I realize after research that there are always two sides to a story and nothing in history is as simple as it first sounds.


Despite the acquisition of this large swath of land, the British tried to discourage American colonists from settling in it. The British already had difficulty administering the settled areas east of the Appalachians. Americans moving west would stretch British administrative resources thin. Further, just because the French government had yielded this territory to Britain did not mean the Ohio Valley’s French inhabitants would readily give up their claims to land or trade routes.                                                                                            


Although the proclamation was introduced as a temporary measure, its economic benefits for Britain prompted ministers to keep it until the eve of the Revolution. A desire for good farmland caused many colonists to defy the proclamation; others merely resented the royal restrictions on trade and migration.                                                                      

English: Map showing territorial gains of Brit...
English: Map showing territorial gains of Britain and Spain following the French and Indian War. Also shown are boundary changes within the territory the British had aquired between 1763 to 1783. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The Proclamation of 1763 established four new Colonies two of them were East and West Florida and another off the continent being Grenada. Most of the Proclamation was devoted to the Indians and Indian lands. It showed that at that point, all Indians were under the King’s protection. It also said that any Indian territory occupied by Englishmen were to be abandoned the settler by only the Indians.


The Proclamation line went from the Atlantic coast at Quebec to the new border of West Florida. Establishing and manning posts along this boundary was a very costly undertaking. The British would argue that these outposts were for Colonial Defense, and should be paid for by the Colonies.