The British Military Presence in the Colonies 1764–76


Map Code: Ax00589

In the lead-up to the American Revolution of 1776, British troop dispositions were overwhelmingly directed towards an external threat. By the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Britain had gained possession of the Province of Québec and the land east of the Mississippi from France, plus Florida from Spain. It was these global powers, their recent adversaries, which Britain feared. Accordingly, there were garrisons in Florida, and along the borders with Spanish Louisiana. There was also a string of forts along the formerly French St Lawrence River and Great Lakes. Sea supremacy was maintained from British bases in Halifax, where a full naval dockyard was commissioned in 1759, and Boston. In the Pontiac rebellion of 1763–64, an alliance of native American tribes sacked a number of British forts, helping to provoke the Quartering Act of 1765, which led to the provision of the first New York garrison of 1,500 troops the following year.

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