In 1763, at ethe end of the French and Indian War, the British issued a proclamation,mainly intended to conciliate the Indians by checking the encroachment of settlers on their lands. In the centuries since the proclamation, it has become one of the cornerstones of Native American law in the United States and Canada.
More to Explore
Long before Columbus, another group of people discovered America: the nomadic ancestors of modern Native Americans.
Conflicts between Native Americans and American forces reached a critical juncture in the 18th and 19th centuries.
During the American Revolution, Great Britain's 13 American colonies rose up in insurrection and won their independence.
Did You Know?
In the United States, the Proclamation's legality ended with the American Revolution, but it remains part of aboriginal land claims made by Canada's First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples.
After the conclusion of the French and Indian War in America, the British Empire began to tighten control over its rather autonomous colonies. This royal proclamation, which closed down colonial expansion westward, was the first measure to affect all thirteen colonies. In response to a revolt of Native Americans led by Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, King George III declared all lands west of the Appalachian Divide off-limits to colonial settlers. The edict forbade private citizens and colonial governments alike to buy land from or make any agreements with natives; the empire would conduct all official relations. Furthermore, only licensed traders would be allowed to travel west or deal with Indians. Theoretically protecting colonists from Indian rampages, the measure was also intended to shield Native Americans from increasingly frequent attacks by white settlers.
Although the proclamation was introduced as a temporary measure, its economic benefits for Britain prompted ministers to keep it until the eve of the Revolution. A desire for good farmland caused many colonists to defy the proclamation; others merely resented the royal restrictions on trade and migration.
The Reader's Companion to American History. Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, Editors. Copyright © 1991 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
This Day in History
Pope John Paul II born, 1920
On May 18, 1920, Karol Jozef Wojtyla is born in the Polish town of Wadowice, 35 miles southwest of Krakow. Wojtyla went on to become Pope John Paul…
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up