History of Canada 30F
1 December 2014
How did the Treaty of Paris affect Great Britain and France at the time?
The Treaty of Paris was signed on February 10th, 1763, which ended the Seven Years’ War between Great Britain and France. The Treaty had established peace between the countries and marked the start of an era of British dominance. The Treaty of Paris had many effects on different countries. While the Treaty had benefited Great Britain, it negatively impacted France in the 18th century.
For Great Britain, the Treaty of Paris had positively affected the country. Firstly, Britain had inherited a large portion of land. Before the Treaty, Britain only controlled a part of the East coast of North America and part of Canada. However, the Treaty gave Britain power over the majority of Rupert’s Land and North America. Britain now had complete control over Canada. At the time in Britain, it was discussed if the country should keep Guadeloupe, which produced £6 million a year in sugar, or Canada, which was expensive to sustain. One pamphleteer argued, “If we do not exclude [the French] absolutely and entirely from that country we shall soon find we have done nothing” (Calloway 8). Because Britain was able to see the wisdom in keeping Canada, it was then able to strongly influence several aspects of the government system, which still remains today. In 1867, the British Parliament presented the British North America Act, which created the Canadian Confederation, until 1982, when Pierre Trudeau introduced his constitutional campaign. Canada became a sovereign nation and was no longer under the control of Britain. The Treaty was very significant at the time as it gave Great Britain control over the majority of North America, marking the start of British dominance and revolutionizing the governmental system.
The Treaty of Paris impacted France negatively for the most part. After the Seven Years’ War, France’s military was compromised, including its’ navy, and they were in debt. The country had to give up the majority of its’ territory in North America to Great Britain, except for a few islands including Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, which were used mainly for fishing. However, the Treaty did benefit French Canadians. In Section IV, the Treaty states, “His majesty … agrees to grant the liberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants of Canada … and that the French inhabitants … may retire with all safety and freedom wherever they shall think proper” (Treaty of Paris 1763). Quebec had its own set of laws different from the rest of Canada, as this was the only way they could keep the Canadiens in the country. Only 270 Canadiens left the colonies, which is what they British wanted. Lord Egremont said, “Nothing is more essential … than to retain as many French subjects as possible and to prevent them from leaving their homes to go off to the colonies that may remain in France’s possession” (Calloway 114). Great Britain wanted to remain in control of all people living in North America at the time, and in doing so those who stayed in Quebec were promised to be able to speak their language and practice their religion. France was not able to keep ahold of its previous territory and subjects, as Britain allowed French Canadians to have their own laws, permitting them to keep their prosperities.
The Treaty of Paris was created to established peace between Great Britain and France after the Seven Years’ War. Great Britain gained control over a large portion of North America and was still able to maintain control over the French Canadians in Quebec by offering the right to their own religion and language, while France had lost the majority of its previous land and subjects.