Discuss: How Royal Proclamation of 1763 played a bigger role in developing a multicultural society in Canada?
To discuss this topic, first we need to understand what Royal Proclamation of 1763 was and how it helped to shape the multiculturalism and diversity in Canada.
With the end of the war with France, Britain tried to extend its control over the colonies of North America. Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended the hostility between British Empire and France. By the end of the war Britain had emerged to be more powerful. After the defeat of the French and their Indian allies by Britain, all the land came under the direct control of British Empire. Britain was victorious, but a lot of money was spend on this war and claimed many lives.
In order to gain the complete control over the land and to avoid the further conflicts with the Native people, King George III declared The Royal Proclamation of 1763.
Under this proclamation no colonial settlers were allowed to cross the Appalachians Mountains into the Indian Territory. It also stated that Indians won’t be bothered on the Western side of the mountains and all settlers will remain strictly on Eastern side. Those settlers who have already settled on Western side were ordered to move back to safety on Eastern side. In order to keep the new borders safe Britain deployed additional troops in these areas.
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The Native Americans who were living in the Great Lakes region didn’t like British very much, because before this they were dealing with the France and were in a very good relationship with them. The French had created a gift culture and British crushed it immediately after winning the war. This dislike for British, broke a rebellion in 1763 known as Pontiac’s rebellion. This rebellion was led by Obwandiyag who was the leader of Aboriginal Nations. Obwandiyag was famously known as Pontiac hence the name of this revolution.
Under this Proclamation Royal British Empire labelled and marked the land. All the land that was on the West of the eastern Continental Divide, along the Appalachians Mountains became Indian Reserve. There was this royal monopoly under which no more sale of Native American land was allowed. This also restricted the deals of Colonies with Native Americans. Now all the deals had to go through the British Royals. The Colonist, on other hand, felt that they also lost their autonomy and self-rule under this Royal Proclamation which later turned into another revolution.
The Proclamation of 1763 can be summed up into four main points:
- It was labeling of the land. It drew an imaginary line along the Appalachian Mountains and marked the new line of control.
- Colonists were not allowed to settle on the west side of this line.
- People that already were living there were supposed to move towards to east.
- The land for Native American was defined (Indian Reserve).
This control line and labeling of the land acted like a buffer zone for the Britain. It settled the conflicts of the Native Americans and Colonies, but it was costing a great fortune.
- It was making colonist angry, as they were losing autonomy / self-rule. It was one of the main causes of American Revolution of 1775.
- There was a lack of proper administration of the new land.
- Many Native Americans and indigenous people in Canada -the First Nations attribute their right of autonomy to this proclamation. Section 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, actually points out Proclamation of 1763.
- Indian Trade and Intercourse Act of 1790 also put a ban on trading and settlement in Native American lands.
Role of “Proclamation of 1763” in developing a multicultural society in Canada
Proclamation of 1763 is considered the basis of the legislative policies of Canadian constitution that guarantees that all the citizens are equal. Multiculturalism and diversity which are the basic strength of this country are also the direct result of this Royal Proclamation. This was the first time that Aboriginal rights were reserved with respect to their land. Multicultural Nations and tribes of Indians were protected under the law.
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Many people from time to time have proclaimed that the Royal Proclamation was of no legal importance to elaborate the Aboriginal rights. However, in 1973 Supreme Court Judge Emmett Hall ruled it out. He maintained that the Nisga’a Nation has territorial rights and the British Columbia falls under the Royal Proclamation. This judgment made it firm that large area of land of Canada which includes Yukon, parts of Quebec, the Eastern Arctic and Maritime Provinces fall under this Royal Proclamation.
So according to me the Royal Proclamation of 1763 has played a bigger role to shape the present day diversity of this nation, which is its strength. It paved the way for many nations to settle down under one law in harmony with peace, love and respect.
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