Today, September 3, 1783, it is official that the Revolutionary War has ended, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, a
The original copy of the Treaty of Paris
nd we are officially the thirteen colonies of the United States of America. On this day, almost two years after the Battle of Yorktown, we are free men totally dissolved from Great Britain. The three American negotiators, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, can be credited with the freeing of our nation because they outsmarted their counterparts and ultimately guaranteed a bright future for the United States. They were joined by Henry Laurens two days before the preliminary articles of peace were signed on November 30, 1782. Under the terms of the treaty, Britain is to recognize the United States of America an independent nation. Great Britain has agreed to remove all its troops from our new nation. Also, it delineated boundaries, which could allow for American western expansion including all the land from the Great Lakes on the north to Georgia in the south and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. Great Britain was given Canada. It was established that both countries can have access to the Mississippi river. Under this treaty the United States has agreed to pay all existing debts owed to Great Britain. The Treaty of Paris also recognized American fishing rights along the Newfoundland banks, a point sought by the New England interests. Under this agreement, prisoners of war on both sides must be released. Finally, the United States has agreed not to persecute loyalists in America and allow those that left during the war to return to America peacefully. The Treaty of Paris was negotiated and signed at the Hotel d' York in Paris, France. The signatures of David Hartley, a member of the British Parliament and the representative of Great Britain, and the three American negotiators are present on the last page of this document as proof of our freedom for all eternity. These representatives signed three original copies of the document further insuring complete freedom for these United States of America. This is the beginning of a new era for us as "Americans."

It took more than a year after Great Britain surrendered to the American troops for the Treaty of Paris to be established and signed. In April in the year 1782, after almost seven years of bitter war, the British government, which had the most feared and repected military force in the world, voted to end the war with America. In the summer, the British troops were ordered to begin leaving the former British colonies. On November 30, 1782 a preliminary peace treay is sign
The signing of the Treaty of Paris
ed in Paris, France. Two months later, on February 4, 1783, Great Britain formally announced that they would cease all fighting permanently. Despite this public verbal agreement, a definitive treaty was needed to guarantee peace forever.

Also on September 3rd, Great Britain signed separate agreements with France and Spain, and the Netherlands. In the treaty with Spain, the colonies of East and West Florida were given to Spain (without any clearly defined northern boundary, resulting in disputed territory resolved with the Treaty of Madrid), as was the island of Minorca, while the Bahama Islands, Grenada and Montserrat, 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 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.

Test your Knowledge:
  1. When was the Treaty of Paris finally signed?

  2. Where was the treaty signed?

  3. Who were the three main representatives for the United States of America?

  4. Name at least 3 things that the Treaty of Paris established.

  5. Where was this treaty signed?

  6. Why did a written treaty need to be created?