Royal Proclamation of 1763

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The Royal Proclamation of 1763, Library and Archives Canada. From collections canada.jpg
The Royal Proclamation of 1763, Library and Archives Canada .
A portion of eastern North America; the 1763 "proclamation line" is the border between the red and the pink areas. Map of territorial growth 1775.svg
A portion of eastern North America; the 1763 "proclamation line" is the border between the red and the pink areas.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was issued by King George III on October 7, 1763, following Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after the end of the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War. This proclamation rendered all land grants given by the government to British subjects who fought for the Crown against France worthless. It forbade all settlement west of a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains, which was delineated as an Indian Reserve.

George III of the United Kingdom King of Great Britain and Ireland

George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death in 1820. He was concurrently Duke and prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ("Hanover") in the Holy Roman Empire before becoming King of Hanover on 12 October 1814. He was the third British monarch of the House of Hanover, but unlike his two predecessors, he was born in Great Britain, spoke English as his first language, and never visited Hanover.

Kingdom of Great Britain constitutional monarchy in Western Europe between 1707–1801

The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called simply Great Britain, was a sovereign state in western Europe from 1 May 1707 to 31 December 1800. The state came into being following the Treaty of Union in 1706, ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, which united the kingdoms of England and Scotland to form a single kingdom encompassing the whole island of Great Britain and its outlying islands, with the exception of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The unitary state was governed by a single parliament and government that was based in Westminster. The former kingdoms had been in personal union since James VI of Scotland became King of England and King of Ireland in 1603 following the death of Elizabeth I, bringing about the "Union of the Crowns". After the accession of George I to the throne of Great Britain in 1714, the kingdom was in a personal union with the Electorate of Hanover.

New France Area colonized by France in North America

New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris (1763).

Contents

Exclusion from the vast region of Trans-Appalachia filled people within various colonies with indignation. Discontent would later arise during the American Revolution.

The area west of the Appalachian Mountains is a region known as trans-Appalachia.

Thirteen Colonies British American colonies which became the United States

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies or the Thirteen American Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America founded in the 17th and 18th centuries. They declared independence in 1776 and formed the United States of America. The Thirteen Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems and were dominated by Protestant English-speakers. They were part of Britain's possessions in the New World, which also included colonies in Canada, the Caribbean, and the Floridas.

American Revolution Colonial revolt in which the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain

The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Great Britain, becoming the United States of America. They defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) in alliance with France and others.

The Royal Proclamation continues to be of legal importance to First Nations in Canada. The 1763 proclamation line is similar to the Eastern Continental Divide's path running northwards from Georgia to the Pennsylvania–New York border and north-eastwards past the drainage divide on the St. Lawrence Divide from there northwards through New England.

In Canada, the First Nations are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. Those in the Arctic area are distinct and known as Inuit. The Métis, another distinct ethnicity, developed after European contact and relations primarily between First Nations people and Europeans. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

Eastern Continental Divide Hydrological divide in eastern North America

The Eastern Continental Divide or Eastern Divide or Appalachian Divide is a hydrographic divide in eastern North America that separates the easterly Atlantic Seaboard watershed from the westerly Gulf of Mexico watershed. The divide nearly spans the United States from south of Lake Ontario through the Florida peninsula, and consists of raised terrain including the Appalachian Mountains to the north, the southern Piedmont Plateau and lowland ridges in the Atlantic Coastal Plain to the south. Water including rainfall and snowfall, lakes, streams and rivers on the eastern/southern side of the divide drains to the Atlantic Ocean; water on the western/northern side of the divide drains to the Gulf of Mexico. The ECD is one of six continental hydrographic divides of North America which define several drainage basins, each of which drains to a particular body of water.

Drainage divide Elevated terrain that separates neighbouring drainage basins

A drainage divide, water divide, divide, ridgeline,, watershed, water parting or height of land is elevated terrain that separates neighbouring drainage basins. On rugged land, the divide lies along topographical ridges, and may be in the form of a single range of hills or mountains, known as a dividing range. On flat terrain, especially where the ground is marshy, the divide may be harder to discern.


Background: Treaty of Paris

The Seven Years' War (with the French and Indian War as the North American theater) ended with the Treaty of Paris. Under this treaty, France ceded ownership of all of continental North America east of the Mississippi River, including Quebec, and the rest of Canada to Britain. Spain received all French territory west of the Mississippi. Both Spain and Britain received some French islands in the Caribbean. France kept a few small islands used by fishermen, [1] modern-day Haiti and the rich sugar island of Guadeloupe.

Seven Years War Global conflict between 1756 and 1763

The Seven Years' War was a global conflict fought between 1756 and 1763. It involved every European great power of the time and spanned five continents, affecting Europe, the Americas, West Africa, India, and the Philippines. The conflict split Europe into two coalitions, led by the Kingdom of Great Britain on one side and the Kingdom of France, the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Swedish Empire on the other. Meanwhile, in India, some regional polities within the increasingly fragmented Mughal Empire, with the support of the French, tried to crush a British attempt to conquer Bengal. The war's extent has led some historians to describe it as World War Zero, similar in scale to other world wars.

French and Indian War North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years War

The French and Indian War (1754–1763) pitted the colonies of British America against those of New France, each side supported by military units from the parent country and by American Indian allies. At the start of the war, the French colonies had a population of roughly 60,000 settlers, compared with 2 million in the British colonies. The outnumbered French particularly depended on the Indians.

Theater (warfare) Area or place in which important military events occur or are progressing

In warfare, a theater or theatre is an area in which important military events occur or are progressing. A theater can include the entirety of the airspace, land and sea area that is or that may potentially become involved in war operations.

Provisions

New colonies

The Eastern (orange line) in the southern areas, and St. Lawrence (magenta line) watershed boundaries in the northern areas of this map more-or-less defined almost all of the Royal Proclamation's western boundaries NorthAmerica-WaterDivides.png
The Eastern (orange line) in the southern areas, and St. Lawrence (magenta line) watershed boundaries in the northern areas of this map more-or-less defined almost all of the Royal Proclamation's western boundaries

The Proclamation of 1763 dealt with the management of inherited French colonies from the French and Indian War, as well as regulating colonial expansion. It established new governments for four areas: the province of Quebec, the new colonies of West Florida and East Florida, and Grenada.

East Florida was a colony of Great Britain from 1763 to 1783 and a province of Spanish Florida from 1783 to 1821. East Florida was founded as a colony by the British colonial government in 1763; it consisted of peninsular Florida, with its western boundary at the Apalachicola River. Its capital was St. Augustine, which had been the capital of Spanish La Florida.

Grenada country in the Caribbean

Grenada is a country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. Grenada consists of the island of Grenada itself plus six smaller islands which lie to the north of the main island. It is located northwest of Trinidad and Tobago, northeast of Venezuela and southwest of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Its size is 348.5 square kilometres (134.6 sq mi), and it had an estimated population of 107,317 in 2016. Its capital is St. George's. Grenada is also known as the "Island of Spice" due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops, of which it is one of the world's largest exporters. The national bird of Grenada is the critically endangered Grenada dove.

Proclamation line

New borders drawn by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. NorthAmerica1762-83.png
New borders drawn by the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

At the outset, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 defined the jurisdictional limits of the occupied territories of North America. Explaining parts of the Frontier expansion in North America, in Colonial America and especially Canada colony of New France, a diminutive new colony, the Province of Quebec was carved. The territory northeast of the St. John River on the Labrador coast was placed under the Newfoundland Colony. [2] The lands west of Quebec and west of a line running along the crest of the Allegheny mountains became Indian territory, temporarily barred to settlement, to the great disappointment of the land speculators of Virginia and Pennsylvania, who had started the Seven Years' War to gain these territories. [3]

Canada (New France) former French colony in New France between the years of 1534 and 1763

Canada was a French colony within New France first claimed in the name of the King of France in 1535 during the second voyage of Jacques Cartier. The word "Canada" at this point referred to the territory along the Saint Lawrence River, then known as the Canada river, from Grosse Island in the east to a point between Quebec and Three Rivers, although this territory had greatly expanded by 1600. French explorations continued "unto the Countreys of Canada, Hochelaga, and Saguenay" before any permanent settlements were established. Even though a permanent trading post and habitation was established at Tadoussac in 1600, at the confluence of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers, it was under a trade monopoly and thus not constituted as an official French colonial settlement.

Saint John River (Bay of Fundy) river in New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada and Maine, USA

The Saint John River is a 673 kilometres (418 mi) long river that flows from Northern Maine into Canada, and runs south along the western side of New Brunswick, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean in the Bay of Fundy. Eastern Canada's longest river, its drainage basin is one of the largest on the east coast at about 55,000 square kilometres (21,000 sq mi).

Labrador Place in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Labrador is a geographic and cultural region within the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It comprises the mainland portion of the province, separated from the island of Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle. It is the largest and northernmost geographical region in Atlantic Canada.

The proclamation created a boundary line (often called the proclamation line) between the British colonies on the Atlantic coast and American Indian lands (called the Indian Reserve) west of the Appalachian Mountains. The proclamation line was not intended to be a permanent boundary between the colonists and Aboriginal lands, but rather a temporary boundary which could be extended further west in an orderly, lawful manner. [4] [5] It was also not designed as an uncrossable boundary; people could cross the line, just not settle past it. Its contour was defined by the headwaters that formed the watershed along the Appalachians. All land with rivers that flowed into the Atlantic was designated for the colonial entities, while all the land with rivers that flowed into the Mississippi was reserved for the native Indian population. The proclamation outlawed the private purchase of Native American land, which had often created problems in the past. Instead, all future land purchases were to be made by Crown officials "at some public Meeting or Assembly of the said Indians". Furthermore, British colonials were forbidden to settle on native lands, and colonial officials were forbidden to grant ground or lands without royal approval. The proclamation gave the Crown a monopoly on all future land purchases from American Indians.

British colonists and land speculators objected to the proclamation boundary since the British government had already assigned land grants to them. Many settlements already existed beyond the proclamation line, [6] some of which had been temporarily evacuated during Pontiac's War, and there were many already granted land claims yet to be settled. For example, George Washington and his Virginia soldiers had been granted lands past the boundary. Prominent American colonials joined with the land speculators in Britain to lobby the government to move the line further west.

Their demands were met, and the boundary line was adjusted in a series of treaties with the Native Americans. In 1768 the Treaty of Fort Stanwix and the Treaty of Hard Labour, followed in 1770 by the Treaty of Lochaber, opened much of what is now Kentucky and West Virginia to British settlement.

Boundary Line Map of 1768 move the boundary West 1768 Boundary Line Map Treaty of Ft Stanwix.jpg
Boundary Line Map of 1768 move the boundary West

A new map was drawn up at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, that moved the line (from the green line to the red line on the map) much further to the west, and gave the lands claimed by the colonists to the British side. [7]



Response


Pontiac's Rebellion (1763–66) was a war involving Native American tribes, primarily from the Great Lakes region, the Illinois Country, and Ohio Country who were dissatisfied with British postwar policies in the Great Lakes region after the British victory. They 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. [6] British officials hoped the proclamation would reconcile American Indians to British rule and help to prevent future hostilities.

Some Native American peoples—primarily in the Great Lakes region—had a long and close relationship with France, and were dismayed to find that they were now under British sovereignty. They missed the amicable relationship with the French, along with the gifts they bestowed upon them, neither of which they had with the British.

Legacy

Indigenous peoples

The Royal Proclamation continued to govern the cession of indigenous land in British North America, especially Upper Canada and Rupert's Land. Upper Canada created a platform for treaty making based on the Royal Proclamation. After loyalists moved into land after Britain's defeat in the American Revolution, the first impetus was created out of necessity. [8] The proclamation forms the basis of land claims of Indigenous peoples in Canada – First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is thus mentioned in Section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

According to historian Colin Calloway, "[settler] scholars disagree on whether the proclamation recognized or undermined tribal sovereignty". [9] The proclamation established the important precedent that the indigenous population had certain rights to the lands they occupied.

Some see the Royal Proclamation of 1763 as a "fundamental document" for First Nations land claims and self-government. [10] It is "the first legal recognition by the British Crown of Aboriginal rights" [11] and imposes a fiduciary duty of care on the Crown. The intent and promises made to the native in the Proclamation have been argued to be of a temporary nature, only meant to appease the Native peoples who were becoming increasingly resentful of "settler encroachments on their lands" [12] and were capable of becoming a serious threat to British colonial settlement. [13] [14] Advice given by a merchant to the Board of Trade on August 30, 1764, expressed that

The Indians all know we cannot be a Match for them in the midst of an extensive woody Country ... from whence I infer that if we are determined to possess Our Posts, Trade & ca securely, it cannot be done for a Century by any other means than that of purchasing the favour of the numerous Indian inhabitants. [15]

Some historians[ who? ] believe that "the British were trying to convince Native people that there was nothing to fear from the colonists, while at the same time trying to increase political and economic power relative to First Nations and other European powers".[ attribution needed ] [16] Others[ who? ] argue that the Royal Proclamation along with the subsequent Treaty of Niagara, provide for an argument that "discredits the claims of the Crown to exercise sovereignty over First Nations"[ attribution needed ] [17] and affirms Aboriginal "powers of self-determination in, among other things, allocating lands".[ attribution needed ] [18]


United States

USA Proclamation of 1763 Silver Medal. Franklin Mint Issue 1970. USA Proclamation of 1763 Silver Medal 1970.jpg
USA Proclamation of 1763 Silver Medal. Franklin Mint Issue 1970.

The influence of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 on the coming of the American Revolution has been variously interpreted. Many historians argue that the proclamation ceased to be a major source of tension after 1768, since the aforementioned treaties opened up extensive lands for settlement. Others have argued that colonial resentment of the proclamation contributed to the growing divide between the colonies and the mother country. Some historians argue that even though the boundary was pushed west in subsequent treaties, the British government refused to permit new colonial settlements for fear of instigating a war with Native Americans, which angered colonial land speculators. [19] Others argue that the Royal Proclamation imposed a fiduciary duty of care on the Crown. [20] [ citation needed ]

George Washington was given 20,000 acres (81 km2) of wild land in the Ohio region for his services in the French and Indian War. In 1770, Washington took the lead in securing the rights of him and his old soldiers in the French War, advancing money to pay expenses in behalf of the common cause and using his influence in the proper quarters. In August 1770, it was decided that Washington should personally make a trip to the western region, where he located tracts for himself and military comrades and eventually was granted letters patent for tracts of land there. The lands involved were open to Virginians under terms of the Treaty of Lochaber of 1770, except for the lands located 2 miles south of Fort Pitt, now known as Pittsburgh. [21]

In the United States, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 ended with the American Revolutionary War because Great Britain ceded the land in question to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783). Afterward, the U.S. government also faced difficulties in preventing frontier violence and eventually adopted policies similar to those of the Royal Proclamation. The first in a series of Indian Intercourse Acts was passed in 1790, prohibiting unregulated trade and travel in Native American lands. In 1823, the U.S. Supreme Court case Johnson v. M'Intosh [22] established that only the U.S. government, and not private individuals, could purchase land from Native Americans.

250th anniversary celebrations

In October 2013 the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation was celebrated in Ottawa with a meeting of Indian leaders and Governor-General David Johnston. [23] The Aboriginal movement Idle No More held birthday parties for this monumental document at various locations across Canada. [24]

See also

Footnotes

  1. Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766 (2007)
  2. W. J. Eccles, France in America, Fitzhrenry & Whiteside Limited 1972, p220
  3. Jack M. Sosin, Whitehall and the Wilderness (University of Nebraska Pres. 1961) p. 146
  4. Harvey Markowitz, American Indians (1995) p. 633
  5. Louis De Vorsey, The Indian boundary in the southern colonies, 1763–1775 (1966) p. 39.
  6. 1 2 Gordon S. Wood, The American Revolution, A History. New York, Modern Library, 2002 ISBN   0-8129-7041-1, p.22
  7. William J Campbell (29 April 2015). Speculators in Empire: Iroquoia and the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 118–20.
  8. Miller, J. R. (May 2009). Compact, Contract, Covenant. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. p. 10.
  9. Calloway, Scratch of a Pen, 93.
  10. Borrows, Wampum, 155.
  11. Douglas R. Francis, Richard Jones and Donald B. Smith, Origins: Canadian History to Confederation 6th ed. (Toronto: Nelson Education Ltd., 2009), 157.
  12. Francis et al., Origins, 156.
  13. Jack Stagg, Anglo-Indian Relations In North America to 1763 and An Analysis of the Royal Proclamation of 7 October 1763, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Research Branch, 1981, 356.
  14. Borrows, Wampum, 158–159.
  15. Quoted in Native Liberty, Crown Sovereignty: The Existing Aboriginal Right of Self-Government in Canada, Bruce Clark. (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1990), 81.
  16. Borrows, "Wampum", 160.
  17. Borrows, Wampum, 164.
  18. Borrows, Wampum, 165.
  19. Woody Holton (August 1994). "The Ohio Indians and the Coming of the American Revolution in Virginia". The Journal of Southern History. 60 (3): 453–78. doi:10.2307/2210989.
  20. "Royal Proclamation of 1763: Relationships, Rights and Treaties – Poster". Government of Canada. 2013-11-27.
  21. "Letter from George Washington to George Mercer dated November 7, 1771, at Williamsburg". The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources. p. 68. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013.
  22. 21 U.S. (8 Wheat. ) 543 (1823)
  23. CBC.ca: "Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada's 'Indian Magna Carta,' turns 250" 6 Oct 2013
  24. G+M "Royal Proclamation’s 250th anniversary has First Nations reflecting on their rights" 7 October 2013

Sources

Further reading

Canada

  • Cashin, Edward J. "Governor Henry Ellis and the Transformation of British North America." Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.
  • Fenge, Terry and Jim Aldridge (eds.), Keeping Promises: The Royal Proclamation of 1763, Aboriginal Rights, and Treaties in Canada, 2015, McGill-Queen's University Press
  • Lawson, Philip. The Imperial Challenge: Quebec and Britain in the Age of the American Revolution. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1989.
  • Roth, Christopher F. (2002) "Without Treaty, without Conquest: Indigenous Sovereignty in Post-Delgamuukw British Columbia." Wicazo Sa Review, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 143–165.
  • Stonechild, Blair A. "Indian-White Relations in Canada, 1763 to the Present." In Encyclopedia of North American Indians, ed. Frederick E. Hoxie, 277–81. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996.
  • Tousignant, Pierre. "The Integration of the Province of Quebec into the British Empire, 1763–91. Part 1: From the Royal Proclamation to the Quebec Act." In Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 4. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980.

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