Explain the Proclamation of 1763.
At the conclusion of the Seven Years' War, King George III issued a proclamation as part of a wider attempt to consolidate Britain's control over its growing empire. To that end, the proclamation declared all lands west of the Appalachian Divide strictly off-limits to further colonial settlement or expansion. Halting expansion was one way of making it easier for Britain to manage and defend its territories, thus ensuring the continued prosperity of the empire.
There were broadly two objectives contained in the proclamation. The first was to protect American settlers against attacks by Native American tribes.
The second main objective was to defend Native Americans against increased attacks from white settlers eager to grab more land and resources. In that sense, the 1763 proclamation can be seen as an attempt to placate Native American sentiment, especially in the aftermath of a revolt led by the Odawa chief Pontiac.
For the most part, the proclamation was successful and contributed to the growing prosperity of Britain's American colonies. At the same time, the prohibition on westward expansion was deeply unpopular among many farmers and homesteaders, and a number of violations of the relevant provisions occurred.
Nevertheless, the Proclamation of 1763 formed the basis of law in relation to Native Americans right up until the eve of revolution. But once the American colonists declared their independence from the British, the proclamation no longer enjoyed any effective legal force. The subsequent American victory in the Revolutionary Wars helped pave the way for continued western trade and expansion, with damaging long-term consequences for Native Americans.