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Definition: Treaty of Paris, 1763 from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Treaty ending the Seven Years' War 1756–63, signed by Britain, France, and Spain.

Under the terms of the treaty Britain gained all of Canada, America east of the Mississippi Valley, Florida, and several islands in the Caribbean, as well as areas in India and the East Indies acquired by France after 1749.

Summary Article: Treaty of 1783
from The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia

Treaty between Britain and the United States that ended the Revolutionary War and secured American independence; also known as the Treaty of Paris.

During the Revolutionary War following the Battle of Yorktown in 1782, the British chose to make peace rather than continue the fight to keep the colonies. The American negotiators were already in Europe on diplomatic missions—John Jay was in Spain, and Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were in France—so talks began immediately in Paris. By beginning treaty talks with Britain, the United States violated its agreement with France not to make a separate peace, which would mean that France, Spain, and the Dutch would remain at war with Britain in India and the Caribbean.

The treaty itself was signed on October 8, 1782, and ratified in January 1783. It guaranteed the independence of the new nation, the United States, and fixed its western boundary at the Mississippi River. Florida, which had been in British hands since 1763, was returned to Spain. The United States received the right to fish off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and to navigate the St. Lawrence River, and the British received a guarantee that the Confederation Congress (the current American government) would recommend that U.S. states pay reparations to loyalists who had lost property in the war and repay debts to British merchant houses. The northern and southern borders of the United States remained vague in this treaty, particularly in the stretch of land between Canada and the United States in the north, and two further treaties were required to solidify them. Most importantly, the Treaty of 1783 accomplished the British withdrawal of troops from the United States and the diplomatic recognition of the United States as a separate country from Great Britain.

See also: Volume One: American Revolution (1775-1783).

  • Bemis, Samuel Flagg. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1957.
  • Hoffman, Ronald. Peace and the Peacemakers. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1986.
  • Schoenbrun, David. Triumph in Paris: The Exploits of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Harper and Row, 1976.
  • Margaret Sankey
    Copyright 2011 by ABC-CLIO, LLC

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