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This Day In History, October 7th, 2019 – “A Proclamation”

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It was just 256 years ago today, October 7, 1763, that King George III, in all his haughtiness, declared that the new lands won by Colonists during the French and Indian War were to be declared Indian preserves, and not opened to the white settlers so as to prevent further bloodshed. Most of us have heard about “No Taxation without Representation”, or “The Shot Heard Round the World” at Lexington, but before the powder keg was set off, somebody had to arm it first, and it was in 1763 that the divisions between the Colonies and England began. During the French and Indian War (1754-1763) England had fought a desperate struggle against the French and their native allies. In the end, the English won, though victory came at a cost, a cost that the British government was going to get with compensation from her loyal Colonies.

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The Proclamation was a slap in the face to many Colonists. They had just won a war against a savage enemy that still continued to raid their settlements. Now the government, far away, had told them they do not get their spoils. To top it off, the British government now wanted to tax them, which the Colonies had no vote in Parliament to protest such wage grabbing atrocities. To make matters worse, enforcement of the Proclamation would be carried out by 10,000 British soldiers and a chain of Forts around the Appalachian Mountains to keep the Colonists in, all of which they had to pay for. Any Colonists found past the Proclamation line would be forced to return, their homes and property burned to the ground. There was no talk of Independence yet, no heavy taxes, no housing of soldiers, no tea destruction, no gun grabbing, but the Proclamation was the beginning of the end for British dominance, and a new and bold idea was just getting started, America, and it was just 256 years ago today.

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