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By Colin G. Calloway

During this remarkable quantity in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments sequence, Colin Calloway finds how the Treaty of Paris of 1763 had a profound impact on American background, environment in movement a cascade of unforeseen results, as Indians and Europeans, settlers and frontiersmen, all struggled to evolve to new barriers, new alignments, and new relationships. Britain now possessed an unlimited American empire stretching from Canada to the Florida Keys, but the crushing bills of preserving it can push its colonies towards uprising. White settlers, unfastened to pour into the West, clashed as by no means ahead of with Indian tribes suffering to safeguard their lifestyle. within the Northwest, Pontiac's conflict introduced racial clash to its bitterest point to date. complete ethnic teams migrated, occasionally around the continent: it used to be 1763 that observed many exiled settlers from Acadia in French Canada stream back to Louisiana, the place they might develop into Cajuns. Calloway unfurls this panoramic canvas with vivid narrative ability, peopling his story with memorable characters resembling William Johnson, the Irish baronet who moved among Indian campfires and British barracks; Pontiac, the charismatic Ottawa chieftain; and James Murray, Britains first governor in Quebec, who fought to guard the non secular rights of his French Catholic topics. so much american citizens be aware of the importance of the assertion of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation, yet now not the Treaty of Paris. but 1763 was once a 12 months that formed our historical past simply as decisively as 1776 or 1862. This eye-catching booklet exhibits why. Winner of the Society of Colonial Wars booklet Award for 2006

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Extra info for The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America (Pivotal Moments in American History)

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A copy of the definitive treaty of peace signed in Paris on February 10 did not reach the British commander-in-chief in North America, Jeffery Amherst, until May, arriving on a packet that had left Falmouth on March 27. 1 Correspondence between Francis Fauquier, governor of Virginia, and Charles Wyndham, the Earl of Egremont, William Pitt’s successor as Secretary of State for the Southern Department, illustrates the delays and uncertainties surrounding communication, even at the highest levels. On February 18, Egremont wrote a circular to colonial governors, informing them that the Peace of Paris, perhaps the most momentous event of their public lives, had been signed.

The population was tiny by modern standards. The number of people in the British colonies was growing dramatically—doubling every twenty-five years in fact—but it still stood at less than two million in 1763. Virginia, the largest colony, had almost 350,000 people; the capital at Williamsburg no more than 2,000 residents. Pennsylvania had about 300,000; Massachusetts about 250,000; New York about 100,000; Connecticut 145,000; Maryland about 164,000; New Hampshire perhaps 45,000; Georgia only about 11,300, 4,500 of whom were black slaves.

British America was the land of the unfree rather than of the free,” writes historian Philip D. Morgan. The events of 1763 rippled through the lives of countless Americans but the lives of America’s slaves went on as before. African slavery dwarfed other forms of servitude and was growing. One out of every five people in the British colonies was a slave, in an African population that was as ethnically mixed as that of the Europeans and the Indians, and was also divided between Creoles and people newly arrived from Africa.

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