1763 was the year that the forever changed the relationship between the American colonies and their mother country, Great Britain. This year was not only the year when the French and Indian War finally came to an end with the Treaty of Paris 1763, but was the also the beginning of the many changes that Britain imposed on the colonies. Following the war, Britain, in an attempt to tighten its control over the colonies, and raise money, pursued new mercantilist policies, leading to colonial resentment.
The Proclamation of 1763 was issued in this year, and was the first of the long list of acts and grievances that the colonists had against Britain. 1763 was an important turning point in American history, because it was the point in which the results of the French and Indian war and underlying tensions caused the British to dramatically change their colonial policies. This sudden change in the British attitude, directly led the colonists to their first thoughts of rebellion, and was essentially the cause of the eventual American Revolution.
For a long time, even before the start of the French and Indian War, France and Britain had been in war. The series of conflicts, King William’s War, Queen Anne’s War, and King George’s war were all fought between France and Britain over land in America. In the French and Indian War, the main reason behind the conflict was also land-this time, specifically over the rich Ohio River Valley. The French initially laid claims to the Ohio River Valley, but the English were expanding into that area.
Another important factor in this war, were the Native Americans of that area, who lived there and wanted to establish a presence as traders there. While most Native Americans sided the French, the most powerful native group, the Iroquois Confederacy allied with the British. The beginning of the war started when the VA government sent a militia under Geroge washingotn to challenge French expansion. Washington created Fort Necessity, and attacked the French Fort Duquesne, where he suffered an easy defeat.
Following this, a conference of delegates met in Albany to negotiate a treaty wtith the Iroquois to help fight the war. Ben Franklin created the Albany Plan of Union which called for a colonial federation for defense against the Indians. But none of the colonies agreed to this, as it took away too much of their independence. Although there was no colonial support of the this plan, it was still an important precedent for the concept of uniting it the face of a common enemy. In this first phase of the war, there was very little British help.
But with the shift into the second phase, Fernch and Indian War became an internation conflict (becoming the 7 Yrs War). In the third phase of the war, English started to be successful in their battles, and the war finally ended with the siege of Quebec, with the English as victors. With the Treaty of Paris 1763, France loses all of its land in America, and the Britain’s territory nearly doubles. But although Britain gained much land, the debt of the war is staggering. Because of this huge amount of debt, Britain couldn’t continue to impose salutary neglect on the colonies.
Salutary neglect was the policy of avoiding strict enforcement of parliamentary laws, such as the Navigation Acts. 1763, was the year when Britain just couldn’t afford to continue salutary neglect. Following the war, Britain realized that there needed to be a major reorganization of the American empire. The British also wanted the colonists to pay for some of the war costs, in return for Britain protecting them during the war. Americans refused to pay it, and Britain therefore started to strictly impose the Navigation Acts.
Because of the victory, American colonists start to feel confident, and less dependant on Great Britain. Therefore, since the British continued to keep troops on the American frontier, even when there was no need, colonists started to feel very resentful. Britian was also angry at the colonists for their minimal contribution to the war effort. The colonists didn’t wholeheartedly support the far, and traded with the French during the war. All of these factors combined caused an intense amount of resentment between the colonists and the British.
This is important, because the colonists are finally united in their resentment towards the British. Following the war, many English colonists started to settle westward onto the new lands that the Treaty of Paris of 1763 brought. But although the French threat was gone from this area, the Indians still remained. In this year of 1763, an Ottawa chief, Pontaic, organizes an alliance of several tribes to revolt against the English expansion. The Indians attack several fots, stage uprisings and kill many of the British and colonists. The British retaliate by spreading small-pox infested blankets to the Indians.
In order to stop more of the Indian attacks, the government then issued the Proclamation fo 1763, which drew a line along the Appalachain mountains, and forbade the any settlement west of that line. Instead of viewing the Proclamation as a way to protect the colonists, they see it instead as a control issue. The colonists believe that the British are only trying to get them to stay near the Atalantic Seaboard to control them easier. So colonists ignore the Proclamation, and still expand beyond that line. This Proclamation caused an even greater push to rebellion.
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