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Treaty of Paris (1763)

"A new map of North America" - produced following the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The combatants of the Seven Years' War as shown before the outbreak of war in the mid-1750s.
  Great Britain, Prussia, Portugal, with allies
  France, Spain, Austria, Russia, with allies
Context End of the Seven Years' War (known as the French and Indian War in North America)
Signed 10 February 1763 (1763-02-10)
Location Paris, Kingdom of France
Treaty of Paris (1763) at Wikisource
See also: Treaty of Hubertusburg (1763)

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, with Portugal in agreement, after Britain's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years' War.

The signing of the treaty formally ended the Seven Years' War, known as the French and Indian War in the North American theatre,[1] and marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe.[2] The two nations returned much of the territory that they had each captured during the war, but Britain gained much of France's possessions in North America. Additionally, 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.


  • Exchange of territories 1
  • Louisiana question 2
  • Canada question 3
    • British perspective 3.1
    • French perspective 3.2
    • Canada in the Treaty of Paris 3.3
  • Dunkirk question 4
  • Reaction 5
  • Effects on French Canada 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

Exchange of territories

During the war, Britain had conquered the French colonies of Canada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, 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 Philippines) and 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 in South America. In the treaty, most of these territories were restored to their original owners. Britain however made considerable gains.[3] France and Spain restored all their conquests to Britain and Portugal. Britain restored Manila and Havana to Spain, and Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Gorée, and the Indian factories to France.[4] 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.[5] Spain ceded Florida to Britain.[4] France had already secretly given Louisiana to 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 fortifications in British Honduras (now Belize), but retained a logwood-cutting colony there. Britain confirmed the right of its new subjects to practice Catholicism.[6]

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 it could dry that fish. In turn France gained the return of its sugar colony, Guadeloupe, which it considered more valuable than Canada.[7] Voltaire had notoriously dismissed Canada as "Quelques arpents de neige", "Some acres of snow".[8]

Louisiana question

The Treaty of Paris is frequently noted as the point at which France gave Louisiana to Spain. However the transfer actually occurred with the 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:

Canada question

British perspective

While the war was fought all over the world, the British began the war over French possessions in North America.[9] After a long debate in Britain of the relative merits of Guadeloupe, which produced £6 million a year in sugar, versus Canada which was expensive to keep, Britain decided to keep Canada for strategic reasons and return Guadeloupe to France.[10] 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.[11] This explains why Britain agreed to return so much while being in such a strong position.

Though the Protestant British feared Roman Catholics, Britain did not want to antagonize France through expulsion or forced conversion. Also, Britain did not want French settlers to leave Canada to strengthen other French settlements in North America.[12] This explains Britain's willingness to protect Roman Catholics living in Canada.

French perspective

Unlike Lord Bute, the French Foreign Minister the Duke of Choiseul expected a return to war. However, France needed peace to rebuild.[13] 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 who would not swear allegiance to the British Crown such as nobility.[14] Lastly, France required protection for Roman Catholics in North America considering Britain's previous treatment of Roman Catholics under its jurisdiction.

Canada in the Treaty of Paris

The article states:

Dunkirk question

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 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,[15] 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.[16] 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 what Winston Churchill would later term a policy of "appeasement," Bute returned some colonies to Spain and France in the negotiations.[17] 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."[18] The treaty passed 319 votes to 65 opposed.[19]

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.[20] Some have pointed to this as one reason for the breakdown of American–British relations.[20]

Effects on French Canada

The article provided for unrestrained emigration for 18 months from Canada. However, passage of British ships was expensive.[14] A total of 1,600 people left New France through the Treaty clause, but only 270 French Canadians.[14] Some have claimed that this was part of British policy to limit emigration.[14]

Article IV of the treaty allowed Roman Catholicism to be practised in Canada.[21] 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.[22] This was relaxed in Quebec to some degree, but top positions like governorships were still held by Anglicans.[21]

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.[23] This was limited by royal prerogative, and the monarch could still choose to change the accepted laws in a conquered colony.[23] However, the treaty eliminated this power because by a different constitutional principle, terms of a treaty were considered paramount.[23] In practice, Roman Catholics could become jurors in inferior courts in Quebec and argue based on principles of French law.[24] However, the judge was British and his opinion on French law could be limited or hostile.[24] If the case was appealed to a superior court, neither French law nor Roman Catholic jurors were allowed.[25]

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 Catholics, some Acadians returned to Canada. However, they were no longer welcome in English Nova Scotia.[26] They were forced into New Brunswick, which is a bilingual province today as a result of that relocation.[27]

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".[28]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ "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 of Paris (1763) at Wikisource
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Quelques arpents de neige".
  9. ^ Monod p 197–98
  10. ^
  11. ^ Gough p 95
  12. ^ Calloway p 113–14
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d Calloway p 114
  15. ^ Dull p.5
  16. ^ Dull p.194–243
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b Monod p 201
  21. ^ a b Conklin p 34
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b c Conklin p 35
  24. ^ a b Calloway p 120
  25. ^ Calloway p 121
  26. ^ Price, p 136
  27. ^ Price p 136–137
  28. ^ Calloway p 113

Further reading

External links

  • Treaty of Paris Profile and Videos - Chickasaw.TV
  • The Treaty of Paris and its Consequences (French)
  • The Canadian EncyclopediaEntry on the Treaty of Paris from
  • Treaty of Paris at the Avalon Project of the Yale Law School0
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