The Treaty of Paris of 1763 ended the conflict known in America as the French and Indian War and in Europe as the Seven Years War. The treaty acknowledged the French defeat, ceding all French territories on the North American continent to other powers. France gave Canada and all lands east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain, and gave Louisiana to Spain. Spain in turn gave Florida to Britain, which was left in uncontested control of the entire east coast and its hinterlands.
The Treaty of Paris had important consequences for Western Virginians and others on the Appalachian frontier. It ended a bloody frontier war, though fighting with the Indians soon resumed. The treaty also gave all of Appalachia and neighboring regions into the possession of England and its American colonies, including areas already occupied, claimed, or coveted by colonial settlers and speculators. England attempted initially to restrict settlement to the Atlantic watershed by the King’s Proclamation Line of 1763. This line, which would have excluded from settlement all of present West Virginia except the Eastern Panhandle, was soon modified by separate Indian treaties. Thus the Treaty of Paris and subsequent treaties helped to open the West, and settlement surged across present central and western West Virginia in coming decades.
Another Treaty of Paris ended the American Revolution in 1783.
Last Revised on November 05, 2010
Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America. New York: Knopf, 2000.