When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
January 14, 1784 – Congress formally accepts the terms of the Treaty of Paris, ending American participation in the Revolutionary War. George III will not sign this treaty for another three months.
The Treaty of Paris was signed by U.S. and British Representatives on September 3, 1783, ending the War of the American Revolution. Based on a 1782 preliminary treaty, the agreement recognized U.S. independence and granted the U.S. significant western territory. The 1783 Treaty was one of a series of treaties signed at Paris in 1783 that also established peace between Great Britain and the allied nations of France, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Although the treaty secured U.S. independence, it left several border regions undefined or in dispute, and certain provisions also remained unenforced. These issues would be resolved over the years, though not always without controversy, by a series of U.S. agreements with Spain and Britain, including the Jay’s Treaty, the Treaty of San Lorenzo, the Convention of 1818, and the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.
Despite the unresolved border issues, the U.S. benefited most among the treaty’s signatories, firmly securing recognition of its independence from European powers. Although Britain lost its American colonies, British global power continued to increase, driven by the economic growth of the early industrial revolution. For France, victory came at an enormous financial cost, and attempts to resolve the financial crisis would ultimately trigger the French Revolution.
Even though the Treaty was concluded in September, due to the nature of communication in the 18th Century and proceedings of Congress, it will not be formally accepted by the new United States until January 14 and George III will not sign until early April.