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The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America
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The Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America

4.5 2
by Colin G. Calloway
 

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ISBN-10: 0195300718

ISBN-13: 9780195300710

Pub. Date: 03/31/2006

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

In this superb volume in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments series, Colin Calloway reveals how the Treaty of Paris of 1763 had a profound effect on American history, setting in motion a cascade of unexpected consequences, as Indians and Europeans, settlers and frontiersmen, all struggled to adapt to new boundaries, new alignments, and new relationships.

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Overview

In this superb volume in Oxford's acclaimed Pivotal Moments series, Colin Calloway reveals how the Treaty of Paris of 1763 had a profound effect on American history, setting in motion a cascade of unexpected consequences, as Indians and Europeans, settlers and frontiersmen, all struggled to adapt to new boundaries, new alignments, and new relationships.

Britain now possessed a vast American empire stretching from Canada to the Florida Keys, yet the crushing costs of maintaining it would push its colonies toward rebellion. White settlers, free to pour into the West, clashed as never before with Indian tribes struggling to defend their way of life. In the Northwest, Pontiac's War brought racial conflict to its bitterest level so far. Whole ethnic groups migrated, sometimes across the continent: it was 1763 that saw many exiled settlers from Acadia in French Canada move again to Louisiana, where they would become Cajuns. Calloway unfurls this panoramic canvas with vibrant narrative skill, peopling his tale with memorable characters such as William Johnson, the Irish baronet who moved between Indian campfires and British barracks; Pontiac, the charismatic Ottawa chieftain; and James Murray, Britains first governor in Quebec, who fought to protect the religious rights of his French Catholic subjects.

Most Americans know the significance of the Declaration of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation, but not the Treaty of Paris. Yet 1763 was a year that shaped our history just as decisively as 1776 or 1862. This captivating book shows why.

Winner of the Society of Colonial Wars Book Award for 2006

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195300710
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
03/31/2006
Series:
Pivotal Moments in American History Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
1,114,908
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Editor's Notexi
Acknowledgmentsxv
1763 Timelinexvi
Introduction: War, Peace, and Revolution3
1America and Americans in 176319
2Contested Lands47
Land and Freedom in Indian Country48
Emigrants and Settlers56
Speculators60
3The First War of Independence66
Pontiac's War67
The Settlers' War76
The Redcoats' War81
4Setting Boundaries92
A Line in the Mountains92
The Treaty of Augusta and the Southern Indians100
5Endings and Endurance in French America112
Quebec113
The Interior French122
6Louisiana Transfer and Mississippi Frontier133
A New Order in Lower Mississippi Indian Country134
Lingering French and Reluctant Spanish138
Frontier Defenses and Indian Power in the West142
7Exiles and Expulsions150
Leaving Florida152
Jesuit Expulsion and Acadian Reunion157
Epilogue: A Tale of Two Treaties165
Notes173
Index209

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Scratch of a Pen: 1763 and the Transformation of North America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with all books in the 'Pivotal Moments in American History' series, this book is exceedingly well written. David Hackett Fischer [Washington's Crossing] has superbly edited this work and his 3 page editor's note is itself, worth the price of the book. Dartmouth Professor of History, Colin Calloway has closely examined 1763, one of the most critical years in American History in his book, THE SCRATCH OF A PEN: 1763 AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF NORTH AMERICA. This one is sure to take its place on the 'essential reading' list of American history lovers. The book derives its name from historian Francis Parkman, who wrote regarding the 1763 Treaty of Paris at the conclusion of the Seven Years War, 'half a continent changed hands at the scratch of a pen'. What is commonly referred to in America as the French and Indian War was in actuality, the first World War. It was fought on 4 continents and 3 oceans around the globe. Its' participants included not only the British and French, but Americans, Canadians, American Indians, Prussians, Austrians, Russians, Spaniards and East Indians as well. Nearly a decade of war left both Britain and France in economic ruin. Britain, being victorious, tried to extricate itself from financial crisis by attempting to simultaneously cut costs (reducing gifts the Indians had grown so accustomed to receiving from the French) and increasing its revenue by raising taxes (on the colonials), which NEVER works. Cutting costs led in part to sparking an Indian war, and raising taxes led to an all out revolt by the colonies. Ultimately, Britain would be unable to benefit from its' newly won empire. Calloway shows in explicit detail how the 1763 Peace of Paris Treaty had a much more tumultuous effect upon the peoples of North America than the war itself. Britain tried to divide its newfound empire into two pieces, one for its colonists and one for the Indian tribes. The colonists, however, had a much different view. They saw their hard fought victory in the war as giving them the right to expand into the newly conquered territory, to itself relieve some its financial burden through land speculation and settlement. In an attempt to quell the growing anarchy in the new territory, Britain engaged in perhaps one of the first instances of bio-terrorism by purposely infecting Indians with small pox. Though successful in 'thinning the herd' so to speak, British lack of government intervention and control in the territory spurred anarchy among both the Indians and the settlers. Calloway has brilliantly defined both the short and long-term effects the Peace of Paris had on every venue of North America, from Hudson Bay to Florida and Cuba, and Nova Scotia to the Louisiana Territory. For a much better understanding of American history and the causes that pushed the colonies towards independence, this is essential reading. Professor Calloway holds the reader in his grasp with every page. The text flows nicely and is capped off with an exhaustive bibliography that will surely add to one's reading list. For as much as I truly loved this book, I do have one complaint. On page 117, this historian with a magnificent proficiency in writing, pierced my soul when he failed to contain himself from interpolating his own political essence upon current events, with just one brief sentence. I won't give too much away, as I don't want to dissuade anyone from reading this extraordinary work. But if Professor Calloway should ever happen to read this review, I say to you sir, you are a brilliant writer. Your work here is superb. Please don't blemish such a brilliant work with your own leanings. As you know, the purpose of the historian is to record and report the facts, not to color them. There, now that I have that off my chest, let me conclude by saying, I absolutely loved this book. It has given critical insight to not only the causes behind the revolution, but how the Peace of Paris Treaty of 1763
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have read anything by Colin Calloway. The French and Indian War period is my current area of interest. Colin has reinforced  what I have read. He also provides some new details and explores areas that I was unfamiliar with. I would recommend this book as an essential reference tool to the period.