The United States is famous for winning wars and losing the peace treaties that brought the war to an end. So we can pat ourselves on the back tomorrow, the 228th anniversary of the best treaty we ever signed. I’m talking about the Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolution, which was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783. The Revolution had ended a couple of years before, with the defeat of the British General Cornwallis, but it took a lot of negotiations to get the British to admit they lost the war.
This Treaty of Paris began with the words ”In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity,” and continued with the words “It having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent Prince George the Third .. and of the United States of America.” By this Treaty, Britain acknowledged the Thirteen Colonies to be free, sovereign and independent States. Just as important, the British acknowledged that the boundaries of our new country would be the Atlantic Ocean on the east, the Mississippi River on the west, the Great Lakes on the north, and all of the South except for Florida. The British Crown and all heirs and successors relinquished all its former claims to the government, property, and territorial rights of the Thirteen Colonies plus all that additional land. That was probably the most important piece of land ever negotiated by treaty. The Treaty declared the intention of both parties to "forget all past misunderstandings and differences" and to "secure to both perpetual peace and harmony."
The Treaty of Paris ended with the words done “in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three,” and was then signed by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams who later became our second President, and John Jay, who became our first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It was a magnificent victory and end of the most important war we ever fought.
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