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[Detail] Vue de Quebec, capitale du Canada. 1755.

Historical Issues Analysis and Decision Making: The Treaty of 1763

The author of "The Expediency of Securing Our American Colonies,"  a pamphlet published in Edinburgh in October or November 1763, recognized that the French would probably seek revenge for the loss of their North American colonies at the conclusion of the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War):

Their passion for universal empire having been thus frustrate [sic], and their deep concerted scheme of American dominion rendered abortive, they will, no doubt, be filled with revenge, and with a strong desire to recover the power they have lost, and the territory they have been forced to cede. These and other considerations give us great reason to expect, that a Nation, whose humour is constitutionally ambitious and restless, and which keeps no treaty longer than they think it their interest to break it, will, by their natural subtlety, evade the late treaty also, whenever a promising view of advantage shall offer. An attempt of this kind, if compared with many similar instances of their conduct, both in former and later times, need give us no surprise. But the probability of such event, ought to make us use all necessary precaution for our own security, especially where it may seem most in their power to annoy or injure us.

From "The Expediency of Securing Our American Colonies," in "The Critical Period, 1763-1765," page135

In order to secure the region under British control, the pamphleteer called for a new colony, Charlotina, to be established west of the Appalachian Mountains.  The author was thus expressing opposition within Britain to the Proclamation of 1763 that prohibited settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains.

  • Why did the author of the pamphlet believe that France would seek to recover Canada and the Ohio Valley?
  • According to the author, was the Proclamation of 1763 a mistake?  Explain.
  • What alternative course of action could the British government have taken in 1763?
  • How might the author have responded upon hearing the news, some 15 years later, of a Franco-American alliance during the American Revolution?