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What was the Purpose of the Royal Proclamation of 1763?
Issued on October 2, 1763, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 was intended to regulate the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains awarded to the British in the Treaty of Paris. In the proclamation, portions of the newly acquired land were organized into the large districts of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada. In these territories, Parliament encouraged the issuance of land-grants to veterans of the French and Indian War.
Settlement Forbidden in Newly Won Lands
The Proclamation also called for conciliatory actions toward the Indians. Land-Grants were forbidden "beyond the Heads or Sources of any of the Rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the West and North West." In other words, British settlers were forbidden to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. Those who had already settled in such lands were forced to relinquish their property. In addition, private purchases of the land from Indians were prohibited, and all issues involving land in the western territories were to be handled by Parliament.
Settlers Ignored the Proclamation
The Proclamation of 1763 was extremely unpopular with the colonists and fur traders. Many simply ignored it. In 1768, Parliament acquired additional lands from the Iroquois Confederacy in modern-day western New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky as part of the Treaty of Fort Stanwix for the purposes of settlement.