I need you to help out with an argument. This is George III. He's king of Great Britain in 1763. His country has spent a lot of money to send some of his people to America and then keep them alive there. He has also spent a lot of money fighting wars that will bring his country lots of wealth. His neighbors France and Spain want the new land for trade. If he doesn't fight them and win, then his country may not become the power he and his people want it to be. Right now, the colonies are sending him many riches they find, like furs from the Native Americans, and they are buying Britain's goods. This is a good thing. But now he needs to win one war both in Europe and another across in America while still making sure the trade in the new land stays healthy. This is not easy.
This is the British colonists in America. They have started life in a new land. Sometimes life is good -- new trade, lots of space to grow crops and raise a family. Sometimes life is bad -- sickness and the people who lived there before they sailed over are not sure if they want these colonists there or not. A colony
is a group of people who leave a country to start living in a new place, but are still ruled by the country they came from. This means that everything they want to do -- plant, hunt, trade, make friends -- has to go through the king all the way across the sea. Yes, they can still use the bathroom when they like.
So here's the argument. Sometimes the king's ideas of how to run a colony do not line up with those of the people who live in America. The king wants to grow his country's power. The colonists want to be safe at home. The king thought the best way to do this would be to keep soldiers in the colony and ask the colonists to help out with money. An empire
is a large group of states or countries that are taken over and ruled by one country or leader. The colonies were controlled by Britain, even though they were across a big ocean. So when another country attacks the colony, should the king protect them and pay for everything OR should the people in the colony fight and pay for the war? It all started with some small fighting in America and soon enough . . . things got CRAZY. The war they started was between at least 6 different countries. This war was so big, there was fighting all over the world!
First, let's look at the war that's happening on the king's side. Great Britain was fighting enemies in 3 places:
1. In America, they fought the French and Native Americans.
2. In Europe, they fought France, Austria, Sweden, and Russia.
3. In India they fought France. All of these fights fall under the same name. The Seven Years War
lasted from 1756 to 1763, was between 6 countries, and was fought in America, India, Europe, and Africa. Britain won many battles and this allowed them to take over the French part of both North America and India. Of course, the king in Britain needed a way to pay for this big war. The king thinks the new colonies in North America should pay for a lot of the war. Of course, the colonists had their own problems to worry about across the sea, where the same war went by a different name.
Now, let's look at the war happening on the colonists' side. Again, it's the same war . . . just in a different place. For Europeans, America was all about trade. The British, French, and Spanish were all trying to get a place in the new land so they could trade with the people there and send goods across the sea. The Native Americans, having already lived there, were part of the fight. Some sided with the British because they bought fur from them, but most sided with the French. The French and Indian War
was the North American name for the Seven Years War and involved the colonists and Britain fighting against France and the Native Americans to get control of trade and the land West of the 13 colonies. Great Britain won. They now had a whole bunch of new land in America. They were happy, but they had spent and borrowed millions of pounds to win. Now the king needs a way to pay for it. So Great Britain needs money, and the colonists do not have the French to stop them from moving through the lands of America. You would think that these two sides would work together . . . but they do not. The king wanted the colonists to keep the peace with the Native Americans because they were connecting Britain to the fur trade. Trading furs brought the crown a lot of money and it needed more to pay for this big war. He wanted the Americans to stay right where they were, so they wouldn't make the Native Americans mad. The Proclamation of 1763 was given by King George on October 7, 1763 and said that settlers were not allowed to move into the new land, past the Appalachian Mountains. The colonists, of course, have a different idea . . .
Don't worry. You don't really need to figure out this argument. It figured itself out. The colonists wanted to move! They want to spread out and have more children and make more money and not have a king telling them what to do and take all of their money to pay for Great Britain's wars. This, of course, was the start of what would become the American Revolution. As soon as Britain made colonies in America, it was a part of their empire, something that would stretch across the world. But the Seven Years War in Europe, which was called the French and Indian War in North America, costs the crown a lot of money. They needed the colonies to send back as much money as they could and so they wanted peace to remain between the colonists and the Natives. George decided to build an imaginary fence and told them they could not pass the mountains right to the west. But the colonists realized he was all the way across the ocean and just want their money . . . Why should they listen to him?
Office of the Historian. "French and Indian War" history.state.gov, 2008. <https://history.state.gov/milestones/1750-1775/french-indian-war
AP U.S. History Study Notes. "French and Indian War" apstudynotes.org, 2011. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/us-history/topics/french-and-indian-war/
>US History. "Proclamation of 1763" ushistory.org, 2013. <http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/proc63.htm>