Proclamation of 1763

In the year 1763, the British parliament issued a Royal Proclamation of 1763 as a formal order hoping that it could forbid white settlers from taking over a territory that was designated as an Indian nation (Middlekauff, 2007). The main purpose was that the British administration intended to apply it as an effective method for creating a peaceful environment with Indian tribes following the just ended war situation between Indians and the French colonialists. The Royal proclamation was supposed to maintain peaceful relations between the Native Americans (Indians) and the British. The proclamation, therefore, was to prevent colonists from reaching the Indian Territory as far as the Appalachians because that could spoil the peaceful relation between the Native Americans and the British.  The proclamation of 1763, also, was meant to allow the British settlers to, officially, take over the administration of Florida and Quebec territories in Canada and North America (Hinderaker & Mancall, 2003). Generally, the British wanted to use the Proclamation to control colonists’ activities.

The proclamation of 1763; however, was not effective as intended. It did not achieve any of the intended purposes of its establishment. The main reason was that the colonists had already settled beyond the Appalachians, and the British lacked a practical method of forcing them out of their new settlements (Middlekauff, 2007). In fact it was one of the antagonistic laws that incapacitated British control over the colonists.

The natives did not have a uniform reaction to the policy. Some Indians refused the Proclamation thinking that it would only offer them short-term peace ahead of the next influx of settlers. On the other hand, a section of the natives accepted the policy thinking that it would maintain separation of races in order to enable them resume their native lifestyles (Hinderaker & Mancall, 2003). Colonials, on the other hand, reacted to the proclamation immediately and in a negative way. Most of them ignored it and continued moving into the forbidden locations. The British reacted to both the Proclamation and the effects by adjusting areas of the Proclamation Line in a manner that would enable them accommodate the speculative interests of the west (Hinderaker & Mancall, 2003). Nonetheless, the Proclamation of 1763 received credit for providing a legal definition to the Indian nation. Besides, it also, served as a blueprint for all treaties that would come thereafter.

 

References

Hinderaker, E., & Mancall, P. C. (2003). At the edge of empire: the backcountry in the British North America (regional perspective on early America). New York: John Hopkins University Press

Middlekauff, R. (2007). The glorious cause: the American Revolution, 1763-1789 (oxford history of the United States). New York: Oxford University Press.


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