Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Treaty of Paris Turns 225 Years Old

Special to the Fayette Front Page

By Susan Sloan
James Waldrop Chapter DAR
Fayetteville, GA

The Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States, recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation. After the British defeat at Yorktown in Dec 1781, peace talks in Paris began in April 1782 between Richard Oswarld representing Great Britain and the American Peace Commissioners Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams. The American negotiators were joined by Henry Laurens two days before the preliminary articles of peace were signed on November 30, 1782.

The Treaty of Paris, formally ending the war, was not signed until September 3, 1783. Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams signed for the Americans and David Hartley, a member of the British Parliament represented the British Monarch, King George III.

The Continental Congress, which was temporarily situated in Annapolis, Maryland, at the time, ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784. There were 10 Articles or Items in the Treaty, only one of which was still in force in 2007. That item was Item 1, which recognized the thirteen colonies as free and sovereign states.

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