backed by seasoned British troops, won the French and Indian
War in 1762 when both Spain and France
decided that they could no longer continue the fight. Although
hostilities had ended in November a peace treaty was finally negotiated
on February 10, 1763.
The treaty reduced Georgia's western boundary from the Pacific
Ocean to the Mississippi River. Georgia was elated about a provision
of the Treaty that ceded Spanish Florida to England. Finally,
the Spanish problem had been solved.
The high cost of fighting in America and abroad
(where the conflict is known as The Seven Years War) changed
the way both Parliament and King George III viewed the colonies.
The English expected the burgeoning colonies to pay their own
way. Colonists expected the English Army to disband (normal at
the time), but the king had other ideas. He intended to maintain,
at the colonists expense, the largest standing peacetime army
At the time England had a national debt of more
than 100 million dollars. Although most of this resulted from
almost continuous warring over the previous 20 years, some could
be attributed to the role England played in the colonization of
America. George issued the Proclamation of 1763, limiting
the western expansion of the colonies to an arbitrary line at
the height of the Appalachian Mountains.
Intended to save England the cost of protecting
settlers who had moved further west than the line established
by the Proclaimation, it actually went much further than creating
this arbitrary line. It recognized the right of Native Americans
to own land, changing the legal relationship between settlers
the first 27 years of its existence Georgia had not prospered,
first under the rule of the trustees,
then under two previous royal governors. In 1760 James Wright
became governor and under his pro-growth policies the economy
of Georgia blossomed. Wright himself prospered;he was one of the
largest planters in the state by the time of the Revolution.
Georgia was significantly different that the other
colonies. The state did not have the political infrastructure
that had developed over the last century in Virginia, for example.
Georgia had the smallest population of the 13 colonies and did
not require the overhead of local governments. Parishes (7 were
formed in 1757, another 5 in 1765) were not administrative bodies
as today's counties are, they were more a part of the religious
and military organization.
The Treaty of 1763 with the Creek
,signed in Augusta (Augusta
timeline), ceded land that almost tripled the size of the
state. After the secession Georgia controlled the entire coast
and the Savannah River inland to Fort Augusta.
Over the next 7 years the British passed a series
of acts to tax the colonies. These acts will do little besides
inflaming the colonists to action.
Right: King George in a lesser known
print from the 1850's and a signature from a royal document.
Next:Sugar Act; Stamp Act