Treaty of Paris
The Revolutionary War took place in America beginning in 1775, and was a battle for colonial impendence from Britain. The official end of the war occurred during the signing of the Treat of Paris on September 3, 1783, which was two years after the British surrendered following the Battle of Yorktown. The United States of America truly obtained their independence when Great Britain formally recognized America as an independent country.
Several months later, the Continental Congress ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784, and then King George III in Britain ratified it April 9, 1784. It was called the Treaty of Paris because the negotiations for the end of the war took place in Paris, France.
Initially, the Continental Congress named a five-member commission to negotiate a treaty. However, representing America during the negotiations, which began in April of 1782, was three people: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay; and speaking for King George III was a member of the British Parliament, David Hartley. The document was signed at the hotel where Hartley was staying, Hotel d'York in Paris.
Two other Americans were expected to be there, Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens. However, Laurens was captured by a British warship and held in the Tower of London until the end of the war, and Jefferson did not leave the United States in time to take part in the negotiations.
There were several major points written into the Treaty of Paris. The first and most important stated that the British government would recognize the Thirteen Colonies to be a free and independent state (country), and the people would no longer be under British rule.
Second, all land would also belong to America and the British could not claim any of it. An important aspect of the treaty was to protect the rights of the citizens and their possessions.
And a third point, which helped the growth of the United States, was that the boundaries of the United States included all territory between the Allegheny Mountains on the east and the Mississippi River on the west. The stipulation allowed for westward expansion and eventually doubled the size of the country. The ultimate goal of the Treaty of Paris was 'secure to both (America and Britain) perpetual peace and harmony'.
Other things written into the treaty were related to agreements included fishing rights, which permitted American fishermen the right of access to the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland and other traditional fisheries in Canadian waters. Both countries also agreed to pay off the debts owed to creditors, which were expenses built up during the war. In addition, points were included related to prisoners of war, access to the Mississippi River, and others.
Following the American Revolution, treaties were also negotiated with other nations involved in the war such as Spain, France and the Dutch Republic. Spain received Florida as part of the agreement.
Though the Treaty of Paris was not signed immediately following the Battle of Yorktown, it was eventually negotiated, and brought peace to both the United States and the British, and led to America's independence.
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