This edited collection, tentatively titled “250 Years Remembered: The 1763 Royal Proclamation,” seeks to explore the historical, cultural, political, and economic meanings behind and in front of the document since its promulgations on 7 October 1763. This collection’s objective is to celebrate the significance of the document through the lense of current scholarship.
7 October 2013 will be the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation. The significance behind the Royal Proclamation of 1763 can best be described as multifaceted. Drafted to deal with the ‘new reality’ Britain faced with the successful conclusion of the Seven Years War (1754-1763), the document sought to establish governments for the newly acquired colonies of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada, while attempting to deal with the issue of Indigenous lands in North America. Despite its apparent simplicity the Royal Proclamation came to mean many things to many peoples since 1763. Settlers in the Thirteen Colonies objected to the Proclamation’s division of Indian and Settler lands, as well as the requirements for obtaining more land legally. Resentment of the document potentially helped spark the American Revolution (1775-1783). Its promulgation in 1763-1764 helped end Pontiac’s Rebellion, as Indigenous peoples recognized its promise to maintain good relations with the Settlers. Yet the boundary between Settler and Indigenous lands was never meant to be permanent since the document contained provisions for acquiring more lands as the colonies expanded westward. Thus, the document became the foundation for acquiring land through treaties across North America by all colonial nations born from British Imperial rule. In the nineteenth century the Royal Proclamation of 1763 helped Chief Justice John Marshall create the notion of domestic dependent nations as well as establishing that private citizens could not buy Indian land (i.e. 1823, 1831, &1832). In the late twentieth century the document entered the Canadian courts, and eventually Canada’s Constitution in 1982, as a document guiding not only the treaty process but as a foundation document for Aboriginal rights and land entitlement (a.k.a. Aboriginal title). Similarly, Indigenous Nations in Canada and the United States have cited the document as the equivalent of the ‘Magna Carta’ in establishing rights and title.
Hence, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 is an important document in North America’s historical, political, cultural, and economic development.
Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words. Please send your tentative title, abstract, and affiliation to Dr. Karl S. Hele, Director and Associate Professor of First Peoples Studies (email@example.com) in WORD or WORDPERFECT format. The deadline for all abstracts is 31 December 2013.
Dr. Karl Hele
1455 de Maissoneuve Blvd, West (CI-304)
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