The Proclamation of 1763 was an edict made by King George III after the conclusion of the French and Indian War. The proclamation declared that colonists could not settle west of the the Appalachian Mountains. To be successful on Proclamation of 1763 APUSH questions, make sure to familiarize yourself with Britain’s motivations for making the proclamation, as well as the colonists’ reaction to it.
What is the Proclamation of 1763?
After the French and Indian War, Britain acquired what is now the Ohio Valley— land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. This area was still home to many French settlers, as well as a vast Indian Reserve. The tribes of the Great Lakes Region had a peaceful existence with the French and were upset by the outcome of the war. In response they instigated what became known as Pontiac’s War, a series of conflicts meant to push back British forces and settlers.
To avoid future conflict with French settlers and to appease the tribes, Britain drew a line down the Appalachian Mountains and told the colonies that they could not expand beyond it. Land could not be taken from the tribes except by treaty, and these treaties could only be negotiated by the crown. Britain’s hope was to maintain a peaceful existence with those already leaving in the acquired territory. The colonies, on the other hand, saw it as another way for the crown to exert excessive control over them.
The following map shows the Proclamation of 1763 line:
Map by the National Atlas of the United States (adapted)
Important year to note for the Proclamation of 1763:
1763: The Proclamation is made by King George III.
Why is the Proclamation of 1763 so important?
The Proclamation of 1763 was important because of the effect it had on the relationship between Britain and the colonies. Its intended effect on the relationship between the colonies and the Native Americans was minimal. The colonists felt betrayed by the proclamation, as they had just shed blood during the French and Indian War to help Britain acquire these lands, and now they were being told that they were not allowed to settle into them. Many colonists ignored the proclamation and continued to expand westward anyway. In general, Britain’s attempt to contain settlers and keep peace with the Native Americans failed, and while not directly leading to revolution, the Proclamation of 1763 increased the tensions between the crown and the colonies.
What are some historical people and events related to the Proclamation of 1763?
- King George III: British king who issued the proclamation
- Treaty of Paris: 1763 agreement ending the French and Indian War, which resulted in France ceding its North American lands east of the Mississippi to Britain
- Pontiac’s War: 1763-1766 conflict between a confederation of Native American tribes and the British (including the colonists)
What example question about the Proclamation of 1763 might come up on the APUSH exam?
“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, with the advice of our Privy Council, declare it to be our royal will and pleasure that no [colonies] do presume, upon any pretense whatever, to grant warrants of survey, or pass any patents for lands beyond the bounds of their respective governments.”
-Proclamation of 1763 (Source)
Which of the following was a consequence of the Proclamation of 1763?
A) The British returned French land to Native Americans.
B) Pontiac ended the war between the Odawa and the British.
C) The French abandoned all lands east of the Mississippi.
D) Colonists illegally settled land west of the Appalachians.
The correct answer is (D). The Proclamation of 1763 made it illegal for colonists to settle in land west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Proclamation, however, did not sit well with colonists, who greatly desired to expand west across the continent. Many saw the Proclamation as an overstretching of the crown’s authority, and they disregarded the edict and continued to move westward in defiance of the law.