Our Georgia History

Georgia in 1763

By Randy Golden
Exclusively for Our Georgia History

1850's engraving of King George IIIAmericans, 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 in history.

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 and Indians.

Signature of King George IIIFor 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


Acts Of War
Georgia in 1763
Sugar Act; Stamp Act
Townshend Acts
The House dissolved
Radicals Gain Power
Georgia joins the Continental Congress
A Colony at War
A State and Union Formed
The First Florida Expedition
A Leader Dies
The Second Florida Expedition
The Third Florida Expedition
Britain Attacks Georgia
Georgia Fight Backs
The Siege and Battle of Savannah
There Comes a Reaper
The Liberation of Georgia

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