The Treaty of Paris 1783


Map Code: Ax00580

The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris in 1783 by America and Britain, recognized American independence. The terms, superficially, seemed generous: land granted to the west of the pre-existing colonies more than doubled the size of the nascent state. But Britain had a sound commercial interest in maintaining constructive relations, and the territory involved was largely wilderness at the time – so much so, that some borders defined in the Treaty were based on incorrect geography. The United States were mistakenly allotted territory to their northwest around the Lake of the Woods based on a misunderstanding of the course of the Mississippi. To the south, they were granted land Spain considered part of their Floridian colony. The border between the state of Maine and British Canada would be disputed until 1842. Britain maintained forts round the Great Lakes, in violation of the Treaty, until the Jay Treaty of 1784.

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