What Was The Purpose Of The Proclamation Of 1763

Explain the purpose of the Proclamation of 1763. Was the proclamation effective? 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The British issued the Proclamation of 1763 after the French and Indian War ended. The British had gained much of France’s empire east of the Mississippi River. The colonists wanted to move to these areas, so they could own their own land. However, most Native American tribes had been very friendly with the French, and they were not pleased that Great Britain now controlled this land. When Pontiac, a Native American chief, led a rebellion against British forces at Detroit, it signaled the frontier was not going to be quiet.

The British issued the Proclamation of 1763. The Proclamation of 1763 stated that the colonists could not go to these new lands that Great Britain had gained from France. The British indicated that they wanted to keep the colonists safe from possible Native American attacks. By preventing the colonists from going to these lands, the British felt it would be less likely that colonists would be attacked by the Native Americans in the region. The colonists were not happy with this order. They believed the British were trying to exert more control over them, and this order was one way to do that.

The Proclamation of 1763 was not effective. Some colonists refused to follow the order and moved to these lands that the British had just gained from France. The colonists also became more suspicious of the motives of the British. When other laws were passed, such as the Quartering Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts, the suspicions of the colonists were confirmed. Ultimately, the Proclamation of 1763 and other actions taken by the British eventually led to the start of the Revolutionary War.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The major purpose of the Proclamation of 1763 was to maintain good relations between the British and the Native Americans.  We can also speculate that a secondary purpose was to exert British control over the colonists.  Neither purpose was achieved to any great degree.

At this time, the British still had some need for good relations with the Native Americans in the backwoods areas.  The British still made a good amount of money from the fur trade.  This was conducted mostly through trading with Native Americans.  The British worried that having colonists pushing into the Indian lands beyond the Appalachians would upset the relations with the Native Americans. 

At the same time, we can speculate that the British wanted to assert more control over the actions of the colonists.  They had left the colonists alone to a great degree for quite some time and were coming to feel that they needed to control them more closely. 

Neither of these purposes was achieved.  The colonists were already beyond the Appalachians and there was no practical way to force them to move back or to prevent further settlers from entering the area.  The Proclamation did not lead to greater control.  In fact, it was the first of the line of laws that led the colonists to push for independence.  The laws antagonized the colonists and led to a complete loss of control over them.

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