Parliamentary Charter of 1763 Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

The Parliamentary Charter of 1763 was issued at the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War between France and Britain. Despite its victory, Britain needed fresh sources of revenue to pay its large war debt. The charter forbade colonists from settling west of the Appalachians and prohibited anyone other than a representative of the Crown from negotiating the purchase of Native American lands.

The Parliamentary Charter of 1763 drove up the purchase price of Native American land by giving the British crown monopolistic control over land purchases. By forbidding settlement west of the Appalachians, the charter shut out colonists from the lucrative fur trade while also denying them access to productive agricultural lands, despite the fact that colonists had already purchased land and started settlements west of the Appalachians. The colonists had fought for Great Britain in the just-concluded French and Indian WarFrench and Indian War (the American portion of the Seven Years’ War), and they felt that they had sacrificed enough for the home country. They therefore resented Parliament’s decision to force them to help pay for the costs of the war in Europe as well.Parliamentary Charter of 1763

In an attempt to placate Native Americans and French colonists now under British jurisdiction in the New World, the Parliamentary Charter of 1763 granted these subjects more political rights than loyal British colonists enjoyed. The charter was the first in a series of acts–including the Stamp Act of 1765, Sugar Act of 1764, and Tea Act of 1773–that required British colonists to pay higher taxes on an increasing number of imported goods. These acts together represented a growing trend toward taxation of the British colonies without granting them representation, which became one of the causes of the American Revolution.

Boston Tea Party

European trade with the United States

French and Indian War

Native American trade

Navigation Acts

Revolutionary War

Stamp Act of 1765

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