Painting by Benjamin West: (from left to right) John Jay,
John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and
William Temple Franklin. The British commissioners
refused to pose, and the picture was never finished.
larger version

The Treaty of Paris of 1783, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American War of Independence with the Kingdom of Great Britain formally:

  • recognizing the colonies as the United States of America [Article 1];
  • establishing the boundaries between the United States and British North America [Article 2];
  • granting fishing rights to United States fisherman in the Grand Banks, off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence [Article 3];
  • recognizing the lawful contracted debts to be paid to creditors on either side [Article 4];
  • United States Congress will "earnestly recommend" to state legislatures to recognize the rightful owners of all confiscated lands "provide for the restitution of all estates, rights, and properties, which have been confiscated belonging to real British subjects." [never implemented, Article 5];
  • United States Congress will prevent future confiscations [Article 6];
  • prisoners of war on both sides are to be released and all property left by British army in the United States unmolested (including "Negroes") [Article 7];
  • Great Britain and the United states were each to be given perpetual access to the Mississippi River [Article 8];
  • territories captured by Americans subsequent to treaty will be returned without compensation [Article 9];
  • ratification of the treaty was to occur within six months from the signing by the contracting parties [Article 10]

The treaty document was signed by David Hartley (member of the British Parliament and representative of the British Monarch), John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay (all three representing the United States).

There was also a wider agreement of peace between Britain, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Spain also regained Florida.

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