Western Land Claims 1782–90


Map Code: Ax00565

In 1763, the Royal Proclamation had forbidden American colonists to settle west of a line running along the watershed of the Appalachian Mountains. The Treaty of Paris (1783) concluding the American Revolutionary War granted the colonies additional territory from the Appalachians to the Mississippi: almost 387,000 sq miles (1 million sq km). This led to a scramble of conflicting claims from the original colonies for the land on offer. In the event, almost all claims were ceded to the new Federal government, usually in return for the government assuming responsibility for their war debts. Georgia demanded, and received, compensation for part of its claim. This payment involved Spain and was not resolved until the eve of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The Vermont Republic had declared its independence in 1777 and was confirmed as a new state in 1791. New York and New Hampshire then ceded their claims to Vermont.

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