The Proclamation of 1763
the French and Indian War, England decided to change the way it treated the
colonies. First, the British felt the colonies needed more protection from the
American Indians. Second, the war had left England with a large debt. England
believed the colonies should pay part of this debt. Finally, England believed
the colonies did not have enough respect for English laws.
In 1763 a remarkable Indian leader, Chief Pontiac, tried to drive the British from the land around the Ohio River. He captured many British forts. Pontiac was defeated only when England sent more soldiers to America. The British felt they should keep 10,000 soldiers in America to protect the colonies. This would cost a large sum of money. The British government wanted the colonies to help pay this cost.
To avoid more trouble with the Indians, the British issued the Proclamation of 1763, closing the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains to the settlers. The British did not expect to keep this law for long. They wanted to give the Indians some time to calm down. In time, England would reopen the land to pioneers. The proclamation also required fur traders to have a license to trade with the Indians. A large British force was sent to the frontier to enforce the new laws.