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Proclamation of 1763

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Pontiac and Robert Rogers

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Proclamation of 1763: boundary line

Proclamation of 1763 , proclamation declared by the British crown at the end of the French and Indian War in North America , mainly intended to conciliate the Native Americans by checking the encroachment of settlers on their lands. In the centuries since the proclamation, it has become one of the cornerstones of Native American law in the United States and Canada.

Proclamation of 1763

After Indian grievances had resulted in the start of Pontiac ’s War (1763–64), British authorities determined to subdue intercolonial rivalries and abuses by dealing with Native American problems as a whole. To that end, the proclamation organized new British territories in America—the provinces of Quebec , East and West Florida, and Grenada (in the Windward Islands )—and a vast British-administered Indian reservation west of the Appalachians , from south of Hudson Bay to north of the Floridas. It forbade settlement on Indian territory, ordered those settlers already there to withdraw, and strictly limited future settlement. For the first time in the history of European colonization in the New World, the proclamation formalized the concept of Native American land titles, prohibiting issuance of patents to any lands claimed by a tribe unless the Indian title had first been extinguished by purchase or treaty:

And whereas it is just and 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; we do therefore…declare it to be our royal will and pleasure that no governor or commander in chief, in any of our colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume, upon any pretense whatever, to grant warrants of survey or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments.…
And whereas great frauds and abuses have been committed in the purchasing lands of the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests and to the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians; in order, therefore, to prevent such irregularities for the future, and to the end that the Indians may be convinced of our justice and determined resolution to remove all reasonable cause of discontent, we…strictly enjoin and require that no private person do presume to make any purchase from the said Indians of any lands reserved to the said Indians within those parts of our colonies where we have thought proper to allow settlement; but that if at any time any of the said Indians should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same shall be purchased only for us, in our name, at some public meeting or assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose by the governor or commander in chief of our colony, respectively, within which they shall lie.

Although not intended to alter western boundaries, the proclamation was nevertheless offensive to the colonies as undue interference in their affairs. Treaties following Pontiac’s War drew a line of settlement more acceptable to colonial settlers ( see Fort Stanwix, Treaties of ), but the continued westward movement of pioneers and the settlers’ disregard of the proclamation’s provisions evoked decades of continued Indian warfare throughout the area. The addition of the balance of territory north of the Ohio River to Quebec in 1774 further exacerbated colonial conflict with Britain .

Proclamation Line of 1763

By Austin Stewart

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 created an imaginary line along the Appalachian Mountains that prohibited European settlement beyond the crest of the mountains, approximately two hundred miles west of Philadelphia. It thus established the region from the eastern seaboard to the mountains as the extent of British North America. In Pennsylvania the proclamation heightened racial, economic, and political tensions in the 1760s and early 1770s, thus contributing to the colonists’ discontent with ineffective British policies. Moreover, between its promulgation on October 7, 1763, and the start of the Revolutionary War, colonists and Native Americans disregarded the Proclamation Line, thus exposing the limitations of British imperial control.

When Britain obtained lands west of the Appalachians from France as a result of the Treaty of Paris (1763) , which ended the Seven Years’ War (1754-63), British officials needed to reestablish imperial authority over existing British subjects and bring the peoples who resided within these lands—both French and Indian—under imperial control. Administrators in England thus devised the Proclamation Line, which essentially cut off eastern Pennsylvania from the western part of the colony and reinforced politically the Appalachian Mountains as a natural barrier to colonial expansion into the Ohio River Valley. King George III (1738-1820) issued the proclamation, written by members of the British Board of Trade, that aimed to dictate the pace and locations of colonial expansion, endorsed the separation of natives and colonists, and sought to reap economic benefits from the territories east of the Mississippi River.

In Pennsylvania, the proclamation indirectly intensified racial hatred and cultural conflicts when Native Americans rejected British pretensions to rule in the trans-Appalachian west. In a series of spiritually charged battles known as Pontiac’s War (beginning in 1763 after the Treaty of Paris), Native Americans attacked British forts in the region from what later became Michigan through western Pennsylvania. Delaware and Shawnee Indians raided colonial settlements between the Proclamation Line and Susquehanna River Valley. In response, frontier colonists, blaming the provincial government for lack of military assistance, indiscriminately attacked local Indians. The so-called Paxton Boys murdered peaceful groups of Conestogas at Conestoga Manor and Lancaster in December 1763 then marched on Philadelphia in the attempt to attack Christian Moravian Indians who came under the provincial government’s protection. These events set aggrieved Scots-Irish and German frontiersmen against the government and pacifist Quakers, challenging their political power in Pennsylvania.

A black and white engraving of King George III in ermine capes.

The imaginary line also frustrated Pennsylvania land speculators. In the mid-1760s, traders such as  George Croghan (c. 1718-82) insisted that economic losses sustained during the Seven Years’ War and Pontiac’s War entitled them to western lands. In the early 1770s, Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) and associates sent a petition to the Board of Trade that provided rationalization for opening of lands beyond the Appalachian Mountains for Pennsylvanian settlement through the erection of new colonies. Speculators argued that colonists from Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania had already ignored the boundary line and that the lack of political, social, and economic connections between Pennsylvania and its frontier limited the commercial value of the Indian trade and the extension of British authority. For Revolutionary Americans, the Proclamation of 1763 was a highly contentious document that pitted colonists against Indians, frontiersmen against the Pennsylvania government, and merchants, traders, and speculators against the imperial government. While the proclamation was meant to increase imperial authority over the colonies, it actually increased colonial discontent with British policies and demonstrated to both colonists and Native Americans the lack of imperial control over eastern North America.

Austin Stewart is working on his Ph.D. in American history at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2015, Rutgers University.

Map of the Proclamation Line

U.S. Geological Survey

This map shows colonial America as it existed in 1775, just prior to the American Revolution. The Proclamation Line divides the eastern half of the map, allowing European settlement only in the areas that appear red. Even before the Revolution, settlers ignored the Proclamation Line and moved westward into the Ohio River Valley, undermining British rule and exposing the inability of the Crown to control its expansive empire.

royal proclamation of 1763 essay

King George III of Britain

Library of Congress

King George III of Britain issued the Royal Proclamation on October 7, 1763, prohibiting European settlement of lands west of the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. In Pennsylvania, the line fell about two hundred miles west of Philadelphia. While the proclamation was intended to establish British rule over land newly won in the Seven Years' War, Native Americans rejected the monarchy's claim to rule them. European colonists also ignored the Proclamation Line, an act which highlighted the Crown's inability to control its massive empire of colonies.

royal proclamation of 1763 essay

George Croghan Marker, Cooperstown, N.Y.

Wikimedia Commons

Irish-born fur trader and land speculator George Croghan (c. 1718-82) was one of many European settlers who were frustrated by the Proclamation Line. Croghan served as an intermediary with the Native Americans in the French and Indian War. After that conflict and Pontiac's Rebellion, Croghan became convinced that the settlers’ economic losses entitled them to lands west of the Appalachians. In 1764, Croghan traveled to London to implore the Crown to move the Proclamation Line west to the Ohio River. Croghan continued to serve as an intermediary with the Iroquois until he was barred from this activity by George Washington. In addition to Pennsylvania, he lived in Cooperstown, New York, where this plaque marks the site of his homestead.

royal proclamation of 1763 essay

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Time Periods

Related Reading

Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 . New York: Knopf, 2000.

Dowd, Gregory Evans. A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815 . Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.

Dowd, Gregory Evans. War under Heaven: Pontiac, The Indian Nations and the British Empire. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.

Griffin, Patrick. American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier . New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.

Merrell, James H. Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier . New York: W.W. Norton, 1999.

Merritt, Jane T. At the Crossroads: Indians and Empires on a Mid-Atlantic Frontier, 1700-1763 . Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003.

Silver, Peter. Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America . New York: W.W. Norton, 2008.

Ward, Matthew C. Breaking the Backcountry: The Seven Years’ War in Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1754-1765 . Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003.

Almon, J. Report of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations on the Petition of the Honourable Thomas Walpole, Benjamin Franklin, John Sargent, and Samuel Wharton, Esquires, and their Associates . London: 1772.

Related Collections

Cadwalader Family Papers and George Croghan Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania , 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia.

Connecting the Past with the Present, Building Community, Creating a Legacy


royal proclamation of 1763 essay

Proclamation Of 1763 Essay

Essay on native americans in the revolutionary war.

Near the finish of the Revolutionary War, Great Britain signed the proclamation of 1763, which forbade the colonists from traveling West of the Appalachian Mountains. “This royal proclamation, which closed down colonial expansion westward, was the first measure to affect all 13 colonies. In response to a revolt of Native Americans led by Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, King George III declared all lands west of the Appalachian Divide off-limits to colonial settlers.” (These results helped the Indian tribes keep their land safe. In the end, the Native American Indians wouldn’t have received their land if it wasn’t for the proclamation.

Compare And Contrast The Stamp Act And The Declaration Of Independence

The Declaration of Independence was a document that freed the colonies from Britain. After the French and Indian War the British put out a new control called the Proclamation Line of 1763. The Proclamation Line of 1763 didn 't allow the colonies from settling west from the Appalachian Mountains. Another act that King George III put into place is called the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act is a law that required that the colonists buy and place tax stamps on many kinds of documents. The way the colonists reacted to the Stamp Acts is that they boycotted British goods. King George III reacted by repealing the Stamp Act and put the Declaratory Act in to that same day. The Declaratory Act is a law that stated that Parliament had the right to tax the colonies

The American Revolution: The French And Indian War

Historically, it is believed that the causes of large scale events and wars are often rooted in the outcomes of previous conflicts. The American Revolution, one of the largest most historically significant events of all time, was caused by a multitude of events. Specifically, many of the causes were in fact the results of past conflicts and ongoing tension, such as the French and Indian War and British taxation acts. Contrary to popular belief, the impact of American Revolution was not solely confined to the colonies and the British crown. Aside from leading to American independence, the American Revolution was a part of a larger global conflict, involving issues between Great Britain, France, and other foreign nations. Overall, the outcome

War Turning Point

When looking back into history one typically overlooks the French and Indian war due to lack of public knowledge of the war and what the war accomplished. One of the major effects the war was the widespread development of anger directed toward Great Britain due to the increased taxation of the colonies. Unsurprisingly the war failed to lower the tensions between Great Britain and France. The French and Indian War represented a major turning point in the socio economic relationship between the colonies and Great Britain due to the financial and social tensions created by the war but failed to change the relationship between Great Britain and France.

Essay On Colonial Taxes

These boycotts soon hurt British businesses in the colonies. The British government was forced to repeal the Stamp Act. Even though it was repealed, the British government still needed revenue to pay the debt of the war and would soon tax the colonists again.

Apush Dbq Research Paper

Following the French and Indian War, Great Britain had began tightening is control on its colonies in the north. The tightening of the British control worsened their relationship with the colonies because the imposing of taxes and acts had taken a toll on their pockets and daily lives causing an American revolution.

Were The Colonists Justified In Declaring Independence Essay

The British government was not looking for the best of the people. They were only thinking about what they wanted; the government was not interested in what the people wanted so they decided to make decisions on their own, which resulted in changes that form the United States today. Because of this, they were justified in rebelling and declaring independence.

How Did The French And Indian War Impact The American Revolution

When the war ended they were wore down and weak. This made the actions of the colonists more effective. Because of the debt, Britain’s economy was not strong. To help pay for the debt, Britain passed the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act put a tax on every printed item they used and required them to buy a government-issued stamp for legal documents and other paper goods. As a result of this tax, colonists in Boston rioted and destroyed the house of the stamp distributor. News of the protests spread and inspired other colonies to protest. As the taxes angered more of the colonists, they began to boycott all British goods. Boycotting of British goods and ending trade with the colonists would greatly hurt the economy in Britain. When the colonists started to boycott, Britain's economy was not strong enough to sustain itself without trade with the colonies. The merchants relied on the trade with America. Pressure from American colonists and British merchants caused the British Government to repeal the act. If Britain's economy had been stronger, boycotting British goods would not have hurt Britain and would not have been an effective form of

Were The Colonists Justified

Has anyone heard about how the colonist fought against the British? Most definitely you sure did, but have you come to think why the colonist fought them? Well, because of the fact that the Colonist was being under the control of Britain and no longer wanted to be, under anyone's control. So, the Colonist were justified to revolt against the British. I believe they were justified to revolt because, British violated the Colonist rights, the British impacted the Colonists' economic opportunity, and the Colonists' life and liberty was impacted.

Native American Involvement In The Revolutionary War

Even though Native American involvement during the Revolutionary War is often overlooked. they played a significant role. Not only did the war determine which direction in history America would take, but it also progressed the downfall of the Native Americans. They lost land and freedoms while America gained it.

Royal Proclamation Act Dbq

The Royal Proclamation Act was established October 7, 1763. It was issued to make sure colonists settling in America would not go west of the Appalachian Mountains, where indians would most likely attack them.

To What Extent Did The Stamp Act Cause The American Revolution

Separately, these acts did not cause the American revolution but together the acts created tension between the American colonists and England. The Stamp act started to build the tension between the colonists and England because it was the first tax directly imposed onto the colonists. They saw this as unfair because during the French and Indian war the colonist were ignored and then suddenly they were expected to pay off Britain’s war debt. The Stamp Act led to the Declaratory Act which led to many other laws given by King George the III and Parliament because of the backlash received from the colonists. The Boston tea party was an effect of the Tea Act enacted on the American colonists. This incident also sparked more colonial rebellions and

American Colonies Dbq Analysis

Prior to the American Revolution, history had shown cases of tyrannical governments taking advantage of the people. In most cases these tyrannical governments were shown no mercy and many times they were overthrown. For the American Colonies and the British Government this was completely different. It was different in the way that the American Colonies had shown great dislike for the lack of representation, taxes, and its plain disrespect from its mother land. The American Colonies attempted many times to catch the attention of the King in order to prevent anymore disliking for the crown and his government. These dislikes would soon grow into tensions as the British government ignored the American Colonies solutions.

American Revolution DBQ

In 1492 a man named Christopher Columbus sailed to our world and almost 200 years later America came to be. Throughout the years leading up to this revolution a lot of things had to happen. This essay will be explaining how the british control led to a revolution in colonial America.

More about Proclamation Of 1763 Essay

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The Royal Proclamation Of 1763 Essay

The colonies by 1763: a new society essay.

     Between the settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the most important change that occurred in the colonies was the emergence of a society quite different from that in England. Changes in religion, economics, politics and social structure illustrate this Americanization of the transplanted Europeans.

The Impact of the French and Indian War on Colonial America

The French and Indian war was fought between Great Britain and France from 1754 to 1763. Also known as the Seven Year’s War, this confrontation eventually erupted into an all out worldwide conflict. Its effects were not only immediate but long term. Although the colonies were not directly tied to the war, it greatly impacted them as well as modern America.

Essay On The Proclamation Line Of 1763

Further, it is clear that the colonist has fought against the French and Native Americans. Now, the British government was trying to leave to this huge amount of land for the entities that they had been fighting against for months. When it became clear that the Proclamation Line was going to be as loosely enforced as most of the previous laws imposed, the colonist moved west anyway. This became one of the justifications for the deployment of ten thousand British soldiers in the colonies (U.S. History Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium). The soldiers were charged with watching the movement along the Appellations to ensure the Proclamation was being followed (U.S. History Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium). Considerably, the Proclamation Line of 1763 also provided certainty of a war between Britain and its colonies. The latter have realized that they were not truly a part of the British system. The Proclamation Line gave the colonists their first real sense that Britain would not grant the wishes of the colony. However, the colonists were proud and hardworking, and they wanted to have a say in the own dealings. As such, they colonists were left with no choice but to fight if they were serious

The Royal Proclamation Of 1763

One of the most notable contents of the royal proclamation was how the aboriginal Canadians were to be treated following the division of their land. Its main aim was to ensure that the rights of the aboriginals were to be upheld (Hubbard, 2008). Their concentrations were in the areas where there was a lot of fur trade. The area that at that time was known as the New France extended from the great Lakes to the St Lawrence River, to the Mississippi river. The center of this battle came to be Quebec, where Britain finally defeated France. The generals that led both sides in the

The French and Indian War Essay

The French and Indian War was a conflict in North America in which Great Britain fought France and their Native American allies. It lasted from 1756 until 1763, so it was also known as the Seven Years War. At the peace conference in 1763, the British received Canada from France and Florida from Spain, but permitted France to keep its West Indian sugar islands and gave Louisiana to Spain. The treaty strengthened the American colonies significantly by removing their European rivals to the north and south and opening the Mississippi Valley to westward expansion.

Battle of the Plains of Abraham Essay example

The battle had a huge impact on the war in North America. The remaining French troops attempted to re-take Quebec but were unable due to lack of siege equipment and reinforcements. French forces retreated to their last Canadian stronghold - Montreal. Montreal, in turn, surrendered on the 8th of September 1760. Following the capture of Montreal, French resistance had collapse, and there were no more real threats to the new British territories of North America. In the treaty of Paris, which officially ended the 7 years war in North America, France ceded the Louisiana territory to Spain to compensate for Spain’s losses, and regained Guadeloupe and Martinique as well as Saint Pierre and Miquelon and fishing rights in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.

The Compromise Of 1763 : How The Compromise Of 1763

The The Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the French and Indian War, granted Britain a great deal of valuable North American land. The war had dragged on long enough, and the British public was weary of footing the bill.Moreover, the Native Americans, who had allied themselves with the French during the Seven Years' War, continued to fight after the peace had been reached.Pontiac's Rebellion (1763–66), a war launched by a group of natives around the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, was an unsuccessful effort by the western tribes to push the British back. However tribes were able to take over a large number of the forts which commanded the waterways involved in trade within the region and export to Great Britain. The Proclamation of 1763 had been in the works before Pontiac's Rebellion, but the outbreak of the conflict hastened the process. British officials hoped the proclamation would reconcile American Indians to British rule and help to prevent future hostilities. New borders drawn by the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

The Transcription Of The Proclamation Of 1763

The Proclamation of 1763 began a growing resentment for basically the same reason they were upset towards the Indians. In the Transcript of the Proclamation of 1763, it states, ” And We do further strictly enjoin and require all Persons whatever, who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any Lands within the Countries above described, or upon any other Lands, which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by Us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such Settlements.”(King George III, 1763) If I was a colonist and I read this I would be like, “you are not my mom. I get your my King and have almost complete control over me, but you are not my mom and can’t tell me what to do.”, but then I would follow him in fear that I would get in trouble and be killed. King George III also writes. “And We do further declare it to be Our Royal Will and Pleasure, for the present as aforesaid, to reserve under Our Sovereignty, Protection, and Dominion, for the Use of the said Indians...We do hereby strictly forbid, on Pain of Our Displeasure, all Our loving Subjects from making any Purchases or Settlements whatever, or taking Possession of any of the Lands above reserved, without Our especial Leave and License for that Purpose first obtained.”(King George III,1763) The Colonists were probably mad for the same reason as they were upset. It’s kind of like the King saying, it’s our pleasure, like a mom saying to an aunt that their kid didn’t want to come over, to give this land. Also “Our loving Subjects” is also like a mom getting on to their kid being like “my Wonderful daughter”, but in code saying “you better behave”. But it wasn’t their pleasure and they were just saying that to get on the Indians good side, and the colonists knew that so they were getting more and more upset, until they eventually rebelled. The growing resentment between them started when this Proclamation was written and the colonists got so fed up that they eventually rebelled.

Compare And Contrast French And Indian War

France expansion into the Ohio River Valley began a conflict with the claims of the British colonies, especially Virginia. One of the factors that hampered the British military effort was the success of France gaining more support among the Indians. The Treaty of Paris mark the final of the Seven Years' War. France ceded ownership to Great Britain from all North America east of the Mississippi River, Canada and Quebec. When France was eliminated as a colonial rival, the dangers to which the English colonies were exposed were also eliminated.

Short And Long Term Effects Of The Seven Years War

The war had a profound result with the British having rule of North America. The Seven Years War ended with the French signed the Treaty of Paris in 1763. French territory, New France had ceased to exist, the British gained control of the lands that extended from Canada to Florida with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

Proclamation Of 1763 Dbq Essay

With the newly obtained French territories from the Treaty of Paris came the Proclamation of 1763 that stationed 10,000 soldiers near the Appalachian mountains and restricted the colonists from living there. This Proclamation angered some of the settlers because they weren’t allowed to settle onto new land or land that they had already bought. This proclamation affected the Virginian colonists the most.3

1763 Dbq Analysis

In 1763, the British and the colonists emerged victorious from the Seven Years’ War after the signing of peace terms at Paris, granting Britain a colonial empire in North America and an end to control of North American lands by the French and groups of Native Americans. These similarities did not last long, however. On October 7, 1763, Parliament passed the Proclamation of 1763, prohibiting colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains, a frontier which the colonists believed they could explore after defending and securing a New World empire. This angered the colonists, and their bitterness toward their mother country would become significantly stronger over the following twelve years leading up to the inception of war with Britain.

Evolution of British Policy in the Colonies: 1750 to 1776 Essay

The Treaty of Paris signed in 1763, signified the end of the war and granted British title to all French Territory East of the Mississippi. The French lost all territory claims in North America, which was a significant victory for England and the British North American colonies. After all rights to expand into Ohio country is what the American colonies had fought for. Upon conclusion of the war the British made two minor decisions or policy shifts that would turn out to be significant. The British ceased their diplomatic relations with native Indians and left British troops in the colonies to “protect their new territory.” (Davidson p. )

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