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What is the Proclamation of 1763? - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 No Kids Allowed!
  • 0:30 The French and Indian War
  • 1:30 Westward Ho
  • 2:00 The Proclamation of 1763
  • 2:30 Response
  • 3:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Philip McMurry

Philip has taught college history, English, and political science, and he has a doctorate in American history.

In this lesson, we will be learning about the Proclamation of 1763, in which the British government restricted its colonists from moving west into the 'great playground' on the other side of the mountains. This led to growing tension between the colonists and the British government.

No Kids Allowed!

How would you like being told you would never be allowed to play at a new playground? Even worse, what if you had plans to play there that afternoon? Well, it was a similar situation for English colonists who were not allowed to move to attractive lands in the west because of the Proclamation of 1763. But what was this proclamation? To understand that, we need to back up a little bit to the French and Indian War.

The French and Indian War

From 1754 to 1763, Britain and France fought a war over control of eastern North America called the French and Indian War. Despite the name, this wasn't a war between the French and the Indians; it involved the French and most of the eastern Native Americans together fighting the British. The British won the war and, in the Treaty of Paris, France lost much of its land in North America to Britain.

The Native Americans who had been allies with the French were very unhappy with the results of the Treaty of Paris. They had benefited from trading with France and were frustrated that Britain was now in charge of their lands. Tribes such as the Huron and Ottawa continued fighting the British, and beginning in 1763, an Ottawa leader named Pontiac led a large group of tribes against the British. The British Parliament knew something had to be done to pacify the Native Americans who lived in their newly conquered territory.

Westward Ho

By the end of the French and Indian War, many British colonists living along the eastern seaboard began planning to move further west across the Appalachian Mountains and into the Ohio River Valley. Particularly in Pennsylvania and Virginia, there was great interest in the lands west of the mountains. However, the British government feared that this migration of colonists to the west might further anger the already frustrated Native Americans living there, leading to more violence. Parliament decided to act.

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