The Treaty of Paris 1783
Short after the battle of Yorktown in 1781, talks of peace began to linger in the English Parliament and in the Continental Congress. Although, back in those days Parliament was infamous for being unstable, and most of the time it depended on the House of Commons and the good favor or the King. When the news of the defeat
at Yorktown reached England, the parliamentary opposition succeeded in overthrowing the embattled government led by Lord North. Unfortunately the new government led by the Marquess of Rockingham, Charles Watson-Wentworth, wasn’t any more unstable then the previous one. When he died in 1782 he was succeeded by William Petty Fitzmaurice, Earl of Shelburne. Shelburne’s government wanted to seek peace, but attempted and hoped to avoid recognizing U.S. independence. Unfortunately the war had been very costly, both to morale and to England’s economy, and they now faced a formidable alliance of the French, Spanish, Dutch and the rebellious colonists. In the mean time, while the British were plotting to destroy the alliance, and do everything in their power to end the war and prevent the colonies from being independent. The Anglo American negotiations had been stalled, due to the internal conflicts the British government and their refusal to recognize U.S. independence. The British had entered negotiations with France for a separate peace with France and its allies. Even though they failed with the Dutch, Americans were open to separate negotiations, due to the fact that it could easier lead to being recognized as an independent nation. In October and November of 1782, final stages of the negotiations had begun. The United States had secured its western bored that went all the way to the Mississippi river with the rights of navigation (which the Spanish government later objected to and prevent), Newfoundland fishing rights, and most of all acknowledgement of being an independent nation, and the peaceful withdrawal of...
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