Treaty of Paris (1783)

Last updated

Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Definitive Treaty of Peace Between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United States of America
DraftedNovember 30, 1782
SignedSeptember 3, 1783
Location Paris, France
EffectiveMay 12, 1784
ConditionRatification by Great Britain and the United States
Signatories
Depositary United States government [1]
Language English
Full text
Wikisource-logo.svg Treaty of Paris (1783) at Wikisource

The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America on September 3, 1783, officially ended the American Revolutionary War. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire in North America and the United States of America, on lines "exceedingly generous" to the latter. [2] Details included fishing rights and restoration of property and prisoners of war.

Contents

This treaty and the separate peace treaties between Great Britain and the nations that supported the American cause—France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic—are known collectively as the Peace of Paris. [3] [4] Only Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as a free, sovereign, and independent state, remains in force. [5]

Agreement

Treaty of Paris, by Benjamin West (1783), depicts the American delegation at the Treaty of Paris (left to right): John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. The British delegation refused to pose, and the painting was never completed. Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West 1783.jpg
Treaty of Paris , by Benjamin West (1783), depicts the American delegation at the Treaty of Paris (left to right): John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. The British delegation refused to pose, and the painting was never completed.

Peace negotiations began in Paris in April 1782 and continued through the summer. Representing the United States were Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams. Representing Great Britain were David Hartley and Richard Oswald. The treaty was drafted on November 30, 1782, [lower-alpha 1] and signed at the Hôtel d'York (at present 56 Rue Jacob) in Paris on September 3, 1783, by Adams, Franklin, Jay, and Hartley. [6]

The 1782 French proposal for the territorial division of North America, which was rejected by the Americans Map of North America, 1782 (Life of William, Earl of Shelburne) (edited).jpg
The 1782 French proposal for the territorial division of North America, which was rejected by the Americans

Regarding the American treaty, the key episodes came in September 1782, when French Foreign Minister Vergennes proposed a solution, which was strongly opposed by his ally, the United States. France was exhausted by the war, and everyone wanted peace except for Spain, which insisted on continuing the war until it could capture Gibraltar from the British. Vergennes came up with a deal that Spain would accept, instead of Gibraltar. The United States would gain its independence, but it would be confined to the area east of the Appalachian Mountains. Britain would keep the area north of the Ohio River, which was part of the Province of Quebec. In the area south of that would be set up an independent Indian barrier state, under Spanish control. [7]

Nevertheless, the Americans realized that they could get a better deal directly from London. John Jay promptly told the British that he was willing to negotiate directly with them and thus to bypass France and Spain. British Prime Minister Lord Shelburne agreed. In charge of the British negotiations (some of which took place in his study at Lansdowne House, now a bar in the Lansdowne Club), Shelburne now saw a chance to split the United States from France and to make the new country a valuable economic partner. [8] The western terms were that the United States would gain all of the area east of the Mississippi River, north of Florida, and south of Canada. The northern boundary would be almost the same as they are today. [9]

The United States would gain fishing rights off Nova Scotian coasts and agreed to allow British merchants and Loyalists to try to recover their property. The treaty was highly favorable treaty for the United States and deliberately so from the British point of view. Shelburne foresaw highly profitable two-way trade between Britain and the rapidly-growing United States, which indeed came to pass. [10]

Commemorative plaque located on the site at which the treaty was signed, 56 Rue Jacob, Paris Plaque Traite de Paris, 56 rue Jacob, Paris 6.jpg
Commemorative plaque located on the site at which the treaty was signed, 56 Rue Jacob, Paris

Great Britain also signed separate agreements with France and Spain, and (provisionally) with the Netherlands. [11] In the treaty with Spain, the territories of East and West Florida were ceded to Spain (without a clear northern boundary, which resulted in a territorial dispute resolved by the Treaty of Madrid in 1795). Spain also received the island of Menorca, but the Bahama Islands, Grenada, and Montserrat, which had been captured by the French and Spanish, were returned to Britain. The treaty with France was mostly about exchanges of captured territory (France's only net gains were the island of Tobago, and Senegal in Africa), but it also reinforced earlier treaties, guaranteeing fishing rights off Newfoundland. Dutch possessions in the East Indies, captured in 1781, were returned by Britain to the Netherlands in exchange for trading privileges in the Dutch East Indies by a treaty, which was not finalized until 1784. [12]

The United States Congress of the Confederation ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784, in Annapolis, Maryland, in the Old Senate Chamber of the Maryland State House, which made Annapolis the first peacetime capital of the new United States. [13] Copies were sent back to Europe for ratification by the other parties involved, the first reaching France in March 1784. British ratification occurred on April 9, 1784, and the ratified versions were exchanged in Paris on May 12, 1784. [14]

Terms

First page of the Treaty Treaty of Paris 1783 - first page (hi-res).jpg
First page of the Treaty
Last page of the Treaty Treaty of Paris 1783 - last page (hi-res).jpg
Last page of the Treaty
Map of the United States and territories after the Treaty of Paris United States land claims and cessions 1782-1802.png
Map of the United States and territories after the Treaty of Paris

The treaty and the separate peace treaties between Great Britain and the nations that supported the American cause (France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic) are known collectively as the Peace of Paris. [3] [4] Only Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as free sovereign and independent states, remains in force. [5] The US borders changed in later years, which is a major reason for specific articles of the treaty to be superseded.

Preamble . Declares the treaty to be "in the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity" (followed by a reference to the Divine Providence) [15] states the bona fides of the signatories, and declares the intention of both parties to "forget all past misunderstandings and differences" and "secure to both perpetual peace and harmony."

  1. Britain acknowledges the United States (New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia [16] ) to be free, sovereign, and independent states, and that the British Crown and all heirs and successors relinquish claims to the Government, property, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof,
  2. Establishing the boundaries of the United States, including but not limited to those between the United States and British North America from the Mississippi River to the Southern colonies. Britain surrenders their previously-owned land,
  3. Granting fishing rights to United States fishermen in the Grand Banks, off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence;
  4. Recognizing the lawful contracted debts to be paid to creditors on either side;
  5. The Congress of the Confederation will "earnestly recommend" to state legislatures to recognize the rightful owners of all confiscated lands and "provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to British subjects" (Loyalists);
  6. The United States will prevent future confiscations of the property of Loyalists;
  7. Prisoners-of-war on both sides are to be released. All British property now in the United States is to remain with them and to be forfeited;
  8. Both Great Britain and the United States are to be given perpetual access to the Mississippi River;
  9. Territories captured by either side subsequent to the treaty will be returned without compensation;
  10. Ratification of the treaty is to occur within six months from its signing.

Eschatocol. "Done at Paris, this third day of September in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three."

Consequences

Historians have often commented that the treaty was very generous to the United States in terms of greatly-enlarged boundaries. Historians such as Alvord, Harlow, and Ritcheson have emphasized that British generosity was based on a statesmanlike vision of close economic ties between Britain and the United States. The concession of the vast trans-Appalachian region was designed to facilitate the growth of the American population and to create lucrative markets for British merchants without any military or administrative costs to Britain. [8] The point was the United States would become a major trading partner. As French Foreign Minister Vergennes later put it, "The English buy peace rather than make it." [2] Vermont was included within the boundaries because the state of New York insisted that Vermont was a part of New York although Vermont was then under a government that considered Vermont not to be a part of the United States. [17]

Privileges that the Americans had received from Britain automatically when they had colonial status (including protection from pirates in the Mediterranean Sea; see: the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War) were withdrawn. Individual states ignored federal recommendations, under Article 5, to restore confiscated Loyalist property, and also ignored Article 6 (such as by confiscating Loyalist property for "unpaid debts"). Some, notably Virginia, also defied Article 4 and maintained laws against payment of debts to British creditors. Several Loyalists attempted to file for a return for their property in the US legal system after the war but mostly unsuccessfully. [18]

The actual geography of North America turned out not to match the details used in the treaty. The treaty specified a southern boundary for the United States, but the separate Anglo-Spanish agreement did not specify a northern boundary for Florida. The Spanish government assumed that the boundary was the same as in the 1763 agreement by which it had first given its territory in Florida to Great Britain. While the West Florida Controversy continued, Spain used its new control of Florida to block American access to the Mississippi, in defiance of Article 8. [19] The treaty stated that the boundary of the United States extended from the "most northwesternmost point" of the Lake of the Woods (now partly in Minnesota, partly in Manitoba, and partly in Ontario) directly westward until it reached the Mississippi River. However the Mississippi does not in fact extend that far northward, and the line going west from the Lake of the Woods never intersects the river. Additionally, the Treaty of Paris did not explain how the new border would function in terms of controlling the movement of people and trade between British North America and the United States. The American diplomats' expectation of negotiating a commercial treaty with Great Britain to resolve some of the unfinished business of the Treaty of Paris failed to materialize in 1784. The United States would thus wait until 1794 to negotiate its first commercial agreement with the British Empire, the Jay Treaty. [20]

Great Britain violated the treaty stipulation that it should relinquish control of forts in United States territory "with all convenient speed." British troops remained stationed at six forts in the Great Lakes region and at two at the north end of Lake Champlain. The British also built an additional fort in present-day Ohio in 1794, during the Northwest Indian War. They found the justification for their actions during the unstable and extremely tense situation that existed in the area following the war, in the failure of the US government to fulfill commitments made to compensate loyalists for British losses, as well as in the British need for time to liquidate various assets in the region. [21] All of the posts were relinquished peacefully through diplomatic means as a result of the Jay Treaty:

NamePresent-day location
Fort au Fer Lake Champlain  Champlain, New York
Fort Dutchman's PointLake Champlain  North Hero, Vermont
Fort Lernoult (including Fort Detroit) Detroit River   Detroit, Michigan
Fort Mackinac Straits of Mackinac   Mackinac Island, Michigan
Fort Miami Maumee River   Maumee, Ohio
Fort Niagara Niagara River   Youngstown, New York
Fort Ontario Lake Ontario   Oswego, New York
Fort Oswegatchie Saint Lawrence River   Ogdensburg, New York

Notes

  1. The same day as the lopsided American loss at the Battle of Kedges Strait in Chesapeake Bay, one of the numerous ongoing engagements with the British and Loyalist forces throughout 1782 and 1783.

See also

Related Research Articles

American Revolutionary War American war of independence, 1775–1783

The American Revolutionary War, also known as the Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America in Congress against Great Britain. The war was fought over the issue of U.S. independence from the British Empire. Engagements took place in North America, the Caribbean Sea, and in the seas surrounding England: the North Sea, the Irish Sea, and the English Channel.

Treaty of Ghent 1814 Peace Treaty ending the War of 1812

The Treaty of Ghent was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom. It took effect in February 1815. Both sides signed it on December 24, 1814, in the city of Ghent, United Netherlands. The treaty restored relations between the two parties to status quo ante bellum by restoring the prewar borders of June 1812.

Jay Treaty 1794 treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain to relieve post-war tension

The Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation, Between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, commonly known as the Jay Treaty, and also as Jay's Treaty, was a 1794 treaty between the United States and Great Britain that averted war, resolved issues remaining since the Treaty of Paris of 1783, and facilitated ten years of peaceful trade between the United States and Britain in the midst of the French Revolutionary Wars, which began in 1792. The Treaty was designed by Alexander Hamilton and supported by President George Washington. It angered France and bitterly divided Americans. It inflamed the new growth of two opposing parties in every state, the pro-Treaty Federalists and the anti-Treaty Jeffersonian Republicans.

History of the United States (1776–1789) Aspect of history

Between 1776 and 1789 thirteen British colonies emerged as a newly independent nation, the United States of America. Fighting in the American Revolutionary War started between colonial militias and the British Army in 1775. The Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Under the leadership of General George Washington, the Continental Army and Navy defeated the British military securing the independence of the thirteen colonies. In 1789, the 13 states replaced the Articles of Confederation of 1777 with the Constitution of the United States of America. With its amendments, it remains the fundamental governing law of the United States.

East Florida Colony of Great Britain and a province of Spanish Florida

East Florida was a colony of Great Britain from 1763 to 1783 and a province of Spanish Florida from 1783 to 1821. Great Britain gained control of the long-established Spanish colony of La Florida in 1763 as part of the treaty ending the French and Indian War. Deciding that the territory was too large to administer as a single unit, Britain divided Florida into two colonies separated by the Apalachicola River: East Florida with its capital in St. Augustine and West Florida with its capital in Pensacola. East Florida was much larger and comprised the bulk of the former Spanish territory of Florida and most of the current state of Florida. However, most of the Spanish population, including all of St Augustine emigrated after the treaty.

Pinckneys Treaty 1795 treaty between the US and Spain

Pinckney's Treaty, also known as the Treaty of San Lorenzo or the Treaty of Madrid, was signed on October 27, 1795 by the United States and Spain.

Province of Quebec (1763–1791) British colony in North America

The Province of Quebec was a colony in North America created by Great Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. During the war, Great Britain's forces conquered French Canada. As part of terms of the Treaty of Paris peace settlement, France gave up its claim to Canada and negotiated to keep the small but rich sugar island of Guadeloupe instead. By Great Britain's Royal Proclamation of 1763, Canada was renamed the Province of Quebec. The new British province extended from the coast of Labrador on the Atlantic Ocean, southwest through the Saint Lawrence River Valley to the Great Lakes and beyond to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Portions of its southwest were later ceded to the young United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783) at the conclusion of the American Revolution, although the British maintained a military presence there until 1796. In 1791, the territory north of the Great Lakes was divided into Lower Canada and Upper Canada.

France in the American Revolutionary War Involvement of France in the American Revolution

French involvement in the American Revolutionary War of 1775–1783 began in 1776 when the Kingdom of France secretly shipped supplies to the Continental Army of the Thirteen Colonies when it was established in June of 1775. France was a long-term historical rival with the Kingdom of Great Britain, from which the Colonies were attempting to separate.

Great Siege of Gibraltar Failed attempt by Spain and France to conquer the British territory of Gibraltar (1779-83)

The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the War of the American Revolution. The American war had ended with the British defeat at Yorktown in October 1781, but the Bourbon defeat in their great final assault on Gibraltar would not come until September 1782. The siege was suspended in February 1783 at the beginning of peace talks with the British.

Treaty of Aranjuez (1779) 1779 treaty between France and Spain

The Treaty of Aranjuez (1779) was signed on 12 April 1779 by France and Spain. Under its terms, Spain agreed to support France in its war with Britain, in return for assistance in recovering their former possessions of Menorca, Gibraltar and Spanish Florida.

Indian Reserve (1763) Native North American Areas

"Indian Reserve" is a historical term for the largely uncolonized land in North America that was claimed by France, ceded to Great Britain through the Treaty of Paris (1763) at the end of the Seven Years' War—also known as the French and Indian War—and set aside for the First Nations in the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The British government had contemplated establishing an Indian barrier state in the portion of the reserve west of the Appalachian Mountains, and bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the Great Lakes. British officials aspired to establish such a state even after the region was assigned to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1783) ending the American Revolutionary War, but abandoned their efforts in 1814 after losing military control of the region during the War of 1812.

Peace of Paris (1783) 1783 treaties which ended the American Revolutionary War for all involved parties

The Peace of Paris of 1783 was the set of treaties that ended the American Revolutionary War. On 3 September 1783, representatives of King George III of Great Britain signed a treaty in Paris with representatives of the United States of America—commonly known as the Treaty of Paris (1783)—and two treaties at Versailles with representatives of King Louis XVI of France and King Charles III of Spain—commonly known as the Treaties of Versailles (1783). The previous day, a preliminary treaty had been signed with representatives of the States General of the Dutch Republic, but the final treaty which ended the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War was not signed until 20 May 1784; for convenience, however, it is included in the summaries below.

The Confederation Period was the era of United States history in the 1780s after the American Revolution and prior to the ratification of the United States Constitution. In 1781, the United States ratified the Articles of Confederation and prevailed in the Battle of Yorktown, the last major land battle between British and American forces in the American Revolutionary War. American independence was confirmed with the 1783 signing of the Treaty of Paris. The fledgling United States faced several challenges, many of which stemmed from the lack of a strong national government and unified political culture. The period ended in 1789 following the ratification of the United States Constitution, which established a new, more powerful, national government.

Joseph Matthias Gérard de Rayneval

Joseph-Mathias Gérard de Rayneval, was a French diplomat and government minister of the Ancien Régime.

Diplomacy in the Revolutionary War had an important impact on the Revolution, as the United States evolved an independent foreign policy.

Franco-American alliance Alliance between the Kingdom of France and the United States during the American Revolutionary War

The Franco-American alliance was the 1778 alliance between the Kingdom of France and the United States during the American Revolutionary War. Formalized in the 1778 Treaty of Alliance, it was a military pact in which the French provided many supplies for the Americans. The Netherlands and Spain later joined as allies of France; Britain had no European allies. The French alliance was possible once the Americans captured a British invasion army at Saratoga in October 1777, demonstrating the viability of the American cause. The alliance became controversial after 1793 when Britain and Revolutionary France again went to war and the U.S. declared itself neutral. Relations between France and the United States worsened as the latter became closer to Britain in the Jay Treaty of 1795, leading to an undeclared Quasi War. The alliance was defunct by 1794 and formally ended in 1800.

Ratification Day (United States) Anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris

Ratification Day in the United States is the anniversary of the congressional proclamation of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, begun a year after on January 14, 1784, at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress.

Events from the year 1783 in the United States. The American Revolution officially ended with the Treaty of Paris.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and Sweden, officially A treaty of Amity and Commerce concluded between His Majesty the King of Sweden and the United States of North America, was a treaty signed on April 3, 1783 in Paris, France between the United States and the Kingdom of Sweden. The treaty established a commercial alliance between these two nations and was signed during the American Revolutionary War.

History of U.S. foreign policy, 1776–1801 history of foreign policy in the United States of America from 1776, to 1801

The history of U.S. foreign policy from 1776 to 1801 concerns the foreign policy of the United States during the twenty five years after the United States Declaration of Independence (1776). For the first half of this period, the U.S. foreign policy was directed by the Second Continental Congress and the Congress of the Confederation. After the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, U.S. foreign policy was conducted by the presidential administrations of George Washington and John Adams. The inauguration of Thomas Jefferson in 1801 marked the start of the next era of U.S. foreign policy.

References

  1. Miller, Hunter (ed.). "British-American Diplomacy: Treaty of Paris". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  2. 1 2 Paterson, Thomas; Clifford, J. Garry; Maddock, Shane J. (January 1, 2014). American foreign relations: A history, to 1920. 1. Cengage Learning. p. 20. ISBN   978-1305172104.
  3. 1 2 Morris, Richard B. (1965). The Peacemakers: the Great Powers and American Independence . Harper and Row.
  4. 1 2 Black, Jeremy (April 14, 1994). British foreign policy in an age of revolutions, 1783–1793. Cambridge University Press. pp. 11–20. ISBN   978-0521466844.
  5. 1 2 "Treaties in Force A List of Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States in Force on January 1, 2016" (PDF). United States Department of State. p. 477. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  6. Miller, Hunter (ed.). "British-American Diplomacy: The Paris Peace Treaty of September 30, 1783". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School.
  7. Smith, Dwight L. "A North American Neutral Indian Zone: Persistence of a British Idea." Northwest Ohio Quarterly 61#2-4 (1989): 46–63.
  8. 1 2 Ritcheson, Charles R. (August 1983). "The Earl of Shelbourne and Peace with America, 1782–1783: Vision and Reality". The International History Review . 5 (3): 322–345. doi:10.1080/07075332.1983.9640318. JSTOR   40105313.
  9. In 1842, some adjustments were made in Maine and Minnesota.Lass, William E. (1980). Minnesota's Boundary with Canada: Its Evolution Since 1783. Minnesota Historical Society. pp. 63–70. ISBN   978-0873511537.
  10. Dull, Jonathan R. (1987). A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution. Yale Univ Press. pp. 144–151. ISBN   978-0300038866.
  11. Davenport, Frances G.; Paullin, Charles O. (1917). European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies. 1. p. vii. ISBN   9780598216410.
  12. Newman, Gerald; Brown, Leslie Ellen (1997). Britain in the Hanoverian age, 1714–1837. Taylor & Francis. p. 533. ISBN   978-0815303961.
  13. "Stairwell Room: The Treaty of Paris at Annapolis Wall". The Maryland State House. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  14. Smith, Dwight L. (October 1963). "Josiah Harmar, Diplomatic Courier". Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography . 87 (4): 420–430.
  15. Federer, William. American Clarion (September 3, 2012). http://www.americanclarion.com/2012/09/03/holy-undivided-trinity-11934/
  16. Peters, Richard, ed. (November 1963). "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875". Buffalo, New York: Dennis & Co. Retrieved February 22, 2020 via Library of Congress.
  17. Bemis, Samuel Flagg (1957). The Diplomacy of the American Revolution . Indiana University Press.
  18. Ely Jr., James W. (2007). The Guardian of Every Other Right: A Constitutional History of Property Rights. Oxford University Press. p. 35. ISBN   978-0199724529.
  19. Jones, Howard (2002). Crucible of Power: A History of American Foreign Relations to 1913. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 23. ISBN   978-0-8420-2916-2.
  20. Lawrence B. A. Hatter, Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017)
  21. Benn, Carl (1993). Historic Fort York, 1793–1993. Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 17. ISBN   978-0-920474-79-2.

Further reading

Primary sources

  • Franklin, Benjamin. The Papers of Benjamin Franklin: January 21 Through May 15, 1783 (Vol. 39. Yale University Press, 2009)
  • Franklin, Benjamin (1906). The Writings of Benjamin Franklin. The Macmillan company. p.  108.