The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on
10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain,
Portugal in agreement, after Great Britain's victory over France
Spain during the Seven Years' War.
The signing of the treaty formally ended the Seven Years' War, known
French and Indian War
French and Indian War in the North American theatre, and
marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe.
Great Britain and France each returned much of the territory that they
had captured during the war, but Great Britain gained much of France's
possessions in North America. Additionally, Great Britain agreed to
protect Roman Catholicism in the New World. The treaty did not involve
Prussia and Austria as they signed a separate agreement, the Treaty of
Hubertusburg, five days later.
1 Exchange of territories
2 Louisiana question
3 Canada question
3.1 British perspective
3.2 French perspective
3.3 Canada in the Treaty of Paris
6 Effects on French Canada
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
Exchange of territories
During the war, Great Britain had conquered the French colonies of
Canada, Guadeloupe, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and
the Grenadines, and Tobago, the French "factories" (trading posts) in
India, the slave-trading station at Gorée, the
Sénégal River and
its settlements, and the Spanish colonies of
Manila (in the
Havana (in Cuba). France had captured Minorca and
British trading posts in Sumatra, while
Spain had captured the border
fortress of Almeida in Portugal, and
Colonia del Sacramento
Colonia del Sacramento in South
"A new map of North America" - produced following the Treaty of Paris
In the treaty, most of these territories were restored to their
original owners, but not all: Britain made considerable gains.
Spain restored all their conquests to Britain and Portugal.
Havana to Spain, and Guadeloupe,
Martinique, Saint Lucia, Gorée, and the Indian factories to
France. In return, France ceded Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines, and
Tobago to Britain. France also
ceded the eastern half of French Louisiana to Britain; that is, the
area from the
Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains.
Florida to Britain. France had already secretly given
Spain in the Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762). In addition,
while France regained its factories in India, France recognized
British clients as the rulers of key Indian native states, and pledged
not to send troops to Bengal. Britain agreed to demolish its
British Honduras (now Belize), but retained a
logwood-cutting colony there. Britain confirmed the right of its new
subjects to practise Catholicism.
France ceded all of its territory in mainland North America, but
retained fishing rights off Newfoundland and the two small islands of
Saint Pierre and Miquelon, where its fishermen could dry their catch.
In turn France gained the return of its sugar colony, Guadeloupe,
which it considered more valuable than Canada.
notoriously dismissed Canada as "Quelques arpents de neige", "A few
acres of snow".
The Treaty of
Paris is frequently noted as the point at which France
gave Louisiana to Spain. The transfer, however, occurred with
Treaty of Fontainebleau (1762) but was not publicly announced
until 1764. The Treaty of
Paris was to give Britain the east side of
the Mississippi (including Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which was to be
part of the British territory of West Florida). New Orleans on the
east side remained in French hands (albeit temporarily). The
Mississippi River corridor in what is modern day Louisiana was to be
reunited following the
Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the
Adams–Onís Treaty in 1819.
The 1763 treaty states in Article VII:
VII. French territories on the continent of America; it is agreed,
that, for the future, the confines between the dominions of his
Britannick Majesty and those of his Most Christian Majesty, in that
part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along
the middle of the River Mississippi, from its source to the river
Iberville, and from thence, by a line drawn along the middle of this
river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the sea; and for
this purpose, the Most Christian King cedes in full right, and
guaranties to his Britannick Majesty the river and port of the Mobile,
and everything which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left
side of the river Mississippi, except the town of New Orleans and the
island in which it is situated, which shall remain to France, provided
that the navigation of the river Mississippi shall be equally free, as
well to the subjects of Great Britain as to those of France, in its
whole breadth and length, from its source to the sea, and expressly
that part which is between the said island of New Orleans and the
right bank of that river, as well as the passage both in and out of
its mouth: It is farther stipulated, that the vessels belonging to the
subjects of either nation shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected
to the payment of any duty whatsoever. The stipulations inserted in
the IVth article, in favour of the inhabitants of Canada shall also
take place with regard to the inhabitants of the countries ceded by
While the war was fought all over the world, the British began the war
over French possessions in North America. After a long debate of
the relative merits of Guadeloupe, which produced £6 million a year
in sugar, versus Canada which was expensive to keep, Great Britain
decided to keep Canada for strategic reasons and return
France. While the war had weakened France, it was still a European
power. British Prime Minister Lord Bute wanted a peace that would not
aggravate France towards a second war. This explains why Great
Britain agreed to return so much while being in such a strong
Though the Protestant British feared Roman Catholics, Great Britain
did not want to antagonize France through expulsion or forced
conversion. Also, it did not want French settlers to leave Canada to
strengthen other French settlements in North America. This
explains Great Britain's willingness to protect Roman Catholics living
Unlike Lord Bute, the French Foreign Minister the Duke of Choiseul
expected a return to war. However, France needed peace to rebuild.
French diplomats believed that without France to keep the Americans in
check, the colonists might attempt to revolt. In
Canada, France wanted open emigration for those, such as nobility, who
would not swear allegiance to the British Crown. Lastly, France
required protection for Roman Catholics in
North America considering
Britain's previous treatment of Roman Catholics under its
Canada in the Treaty of Paris
The article states:
IV. His Most Christian Majesty renounces all pretensions which he has
heretofore formed or might have formed to Nova Scotia or Acadia in all
its parts, and guaranties the whole of it, and with all its
dependencies, to the King of Great Britain: Moreover, his Most
Christian Majesty cedes and guaranties to his said Britannick Majesty,
in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well as the
island of Cape Breton, and all the other islands and coasts in the
gulph and river of St. Lawrence, and in general, every thing that
depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and coasts, with the
sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights acquired by treaty,
or otherwise, which the Most Christian King and the Crown of France
have had till now over the said countries, lands, islands, places,
coasts, and their inhabitants, so that the Most Christian King cedes
and makes over the whole to the said King, and to the Crown of Great
Britain, and that in the most ample manner and form, without
restriction, and without any liberty to depart from the said cession
and guaranty under any pretence, or to disturb Great Britain in the
possessions above mentioned. His Britannick Majesty, on his side,
agrees to grant the liberty of the Catholick religion to the
inhabitants of Canada: he will, in consequence, give the most precise
and most effectual orders, that his new Roman Catholic subjects may
profess the worship of their religion according to the rites of the
Romish church, as far as the laws of Great Britain permit. His
Britannick Majesty farther agrees, that the French inhabitants, or
others who had been subjects of the Most Christian King in Canada, may
retire with all safety and freedom wherever they shall think proper,
and may sell their estates, provided it be to the subjects of his
Britannick Majesty, and bring away their effects as well as their
persons, without being restrained in their emigration, under any
pretence whatsoever, except that of debts or of criminal prosecutions:
The term limited for this emigration shall be fixed to the space of
eighteen months, to be computed from the day of the exchange of the
ratification of the present treaty.
During the negotiations that led to the treaty, a major issue of
dispute between Britain and France had been over the status of the
fortifications of the French coastal settlement of Dunkirk. The
British had long feared that it would be used as a staging post to
launch a French invasion of Britain. Under the
Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht in
1713 they had forced France to concede extreme limits on the
fortifications there. The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had allowed
more generous terms, and France had constructed greater defences
for the town.
By the Treaty Britain forced France to accept the earlier 1713
conditions and demolish the fortifications they had constructed since
then. This would be a continuing source of resentment to France,
who would eventually have this clause overturned in the 1783 Treaty of
Paris which brought an end to the American Revolutionary War.
When Lord Bute became Prime Minister in 1762, he pushed for a
resolution to the war with France and Spain, fearing that Great
Britain could not govern all of its newly acquired territories. In
Winston Churchill would later term a policy of "appeasement,"
Bute returned some colonies to
Spain and France in the
negotiations. Despite a desire for peace, many in the British
parliament opposed the return of any gains made during the war.
Notable among the opposition was former Prime Minister William Pitt,
the Elder, who warned that the terms of the treaty would only lead to
further conflicts once France and
Spain had time to rebuild. "The
peace was insecure," he would later say, "because it restored the
enemy to her former greatness. The peace was inadequate, because the
places gained were no equivalent for the places surrendered." The
treaty passed 319 votes to 65 opposed.
The Treaty of
Paris took no consideration of Great Britain's battered
continental ally, Frederick II of Prussia. Frederick would have to
negotiate peace terms separately in the Treaty of Hubertusburg. For
decades following the Seven Years' War, Frederick II would consider
the Treaty of
Paris as a British betrayal.
The American colonists were disappointed by the protection of Roman
Catholicism in the Treaty of
Paris because of their own strong
Protestant faith. Some have pointed to this as one reason for the
breakdown of American–British relations.
Effects on French Canada
The article provided for unrestrained emigration for 18 months from
Canada. However, passage on British ships was expensive. A total
of 1,600 people left New France through the Treaty clause, but only
270 French Canadians. Some have claimed that this was part of
British policy to limit emigration.
Article IV of the treaty allowed Roman Catholicism to be practised in
Canada. George III agreed to allow Catholicism within the laws of
Great Britain. In this period, British laws included various Test Acts
to prevent governmental, judicial, and bureaucratic appointments from
going to Roman Catholics. Roman Catholics were believed to be agents
of the Jacobite Pretenders to the throne, who normally resided in
France supported by the French regime. This was relaxed in Quebec
to some degree, but top positions like governorships were still held
Article IV has also been cited as the basis for Quebec often having
its unique set of laws that are different from the rest of Canada.
There was a general constitutional principle in the United Kingdom to
allow colonies taken through conquest to continue their own laws.
This was limited by royal prerogative, and the monarch could still
choose to change the accepted laws in a conquered colony. However,
the treaty eliminated this power because by a different constitutional
principle, terms of a treaty were considered paramount. In
practice, Roman Catholics could become jurors in inferior courts in
Quebec and argue based on principles of French law. However, the
judge was British and his opinion on French law could be limited or
hostile. If the case was appealed to a superior court, neither
French law nor Roman Catholic jurors were allowed.
Many French residents of what are now Canada's Maritime provinces,
called Acadians, were deported during the Great Expulsion (1755–63).
After the signing of the peace treaty guaranteed some rights to Roman
Acadians returned to Canada. However, they were no
longer welcome in English Nova Scotia. They were forced into New
Brunswick, which is a bilingual province today as a result of that
Much land previously owned by France was now owned by Britain, and the
French people of Quebec felt great betrayal at the French concession.
Commander-in-Chief of the British Jeffrey Amherst noted that, "Many of
the Canadians consider their Colony to be of utmost consequence to
France & cannot be convinced … that their Country has been
conceded to Great Britain".
France in the Seven Years' War
Great Britain in the Seven Years' War
List of treaties
^ Marston, Daniel (2002). The French–Indian War 1754–1760. Osprey
Publishing. p. 84. ISBN 0-415-96838-0.
^ "Wars and Battles: Treaty of
Paris (1763)". www.u-s-history.com. In
a nutshell, Britain emerged as the world's leading colonial
^ "The Treaty of
Paris ends the French and Indian War".
^ a b "The Present State of the West-Indies: Containing an Accurate
Description of What Parts Are Possessed by the Several Powers in
Europe". World Digital Library. 1778. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
^ "His Most Christian Majesty cedes and guaranties to his said
Britannick Majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies,
as well as the island of Cape Breton, and all the other islands and
coasts in the gulph and river of St. Lawrence, and in general, every
thing that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, and coasts,
with the sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights acquired by
treaty, or otherwise, which the Most Christian King and the Crown of
France have had till now over the said countries, lands, islands,
places, coasts, and their inhabitants" — Article IV of the Treaty
Paris (1763) at Wikisource
^ ” (…) it is agreed, that … the confines between the dominions
of his Britannick Majesty and those of his Most Christian Majesty, in
that part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn
along the middle of the River Mississippi, from its source to the
river Iberville, and from hence, by a line drawn along the middle of
this river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain to the sea; and
for this purpose, the Most Christian King cedes in full right, and
guaranties to his Britannick Majesty the river and port of Mobile, and
every thing which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left side
of the river Mississippi, except the town of New Orleans and the
island in which it is situated, which shall remain to France,
(…)”— Article VII of the Treaty of
Paris (1763) at Wikisource
^ Extracts from the Treaty of
Paris of 1763. A. Lovell & Co. 1892.
p. 6. His Britannick Majesty, on his side, agrees to grant the
liberty of the Roman Catholic religion to the inhabitants of
^ Dewar, Helen (December 2010). "Canada or Guadeloupe?: French and
British Perceptions of Empire, 1760–1783". Canadian Historical
Review. 91 (4): 637–660. doi:10.3138/chr.91.4.637.
^ "Quelques arpents de neige".
French and Indian War
French and Indian War ends - Feb 10, 1763". HISTORY.com.
^ "The Stakes of the Treaty of Paris". France in America. Library of
Congress. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
^ Monod p 197–98
^ Colin G. Calloway (2006). The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the
Transformation of North America. Oxford U.P. p. 8.
^ Gough p 95
^ Calloway p 113–14
^ Rashed, Zenab Esmat (1951). The Peace of Paris. Liverpool University
Press. p. 209. ISBN 978-0853-23202-5.
^ a b c d Calloway p 114
^ Dull p.5
^ Dull p.194–243
Winston Churchill (reprint 2001). The Great Republic: A History of
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^ Simms, Brendan (2007). Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and
Fall of the First British Empire, 1714–1783. Allan Lane.
p. 496. ISBN 978-0713-99426-1.
^ Fowler, William M. (2004). Empires at War: the French and Indian War
and the struggle for North America, 1754–1763. Walker & Company.
p. 271. ISBN 978-0802-71411-4.
^ a b Monod p 201
^ a b Conklin p 34
^ Colley, Linda (1992). Britons: Forging the Nation 1707–1837.
p. 78. ISBN 978-0-300-15280-7.
^ a b c Conklin p 35
^ a b Calloway p 120
^ Calloway p 121
^ Price, p 136
^ Price p 136–137
^ Calloway p 113
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Dull, Jonathan R. (2005). The French Navy and the Seven Years' War.
University of Nebraska.
Gough, Barry M. (1992). British Mercantile Interests in the Making of
the Peace of Paris, 1763. Edwin Meller Press.
Monod, Paul Kleber (2009). Imperial Island: A History of Britain and
Its Empire, 1660–1837. Wiley-Blackwell.
Price, Joseph Edward (2007). The status of French among youth in a
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Maine. Indiana University.
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