September 3, 1783 – Treaty of Paris Ends the American Revolutionary War

On this day in history, the Treaty of Paris was signed, formally ending the American Revolutionary War between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the United States of America that had rebelled against British rule in 1776.

The treaty began with the words “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.”

The most important article of the treaty was the first, which declared:

His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states, that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.”

The wording of the treaty promised to “forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse, between the two countries upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony….”

Peace negotiations had begun in April of 1782, and continued through the summer. The United States was represented by Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens, and John Adams. David Hartley and Richard Oswald represented Great Britain. The treaty was signed at the Hotel d’York in Paris by Adams, Franklin, Jay, and Hartley.

Benjamin West's painting of the delegations at the Treaty of Paris: John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. The British delegation refused to pose, and the painting was never completed.

Benjamin West’s painting of the delegations at the Treaty of Paris: John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. The British delegation refused to pose, and the painting was never completed.

The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Congress on January 14, 1784.

You can read the full text of the treaty here.

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One Response

  1. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.

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