Paris, Treaty of

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Paris, Treaty of

Treaty of Paris, any of several important treaties, signed at or near Paris, France.

The Treaty of 1763

The Treaty of Paris of Feb. 10, 1763, was signed by Great Britain, France, and Spain. Together with the treaty of Hubertusburg, it terminated the Seven Years War. France lost its possessions on the North American continent by ceding Canada and all its territories east of the Mississippi to Great Britain, and by ceding W Louisiana to its ally, Spain, in compensation for Florida, which Spain yielded to Great Britain. France retained the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon and recovered Guadeloupe and Martinique in the West Indies from Great Britain, in exchange for which it ceded Grenada and the Grenadines to the English.

In East India the French were permitted to return to their posts, but they were forbidden to maintain troops or build forts in Bengal; India thus virtually passed to Great Britain. In Africa France yielded Senegal to Great Britain. Cuba and the Philippines were restored to Spain. In Europe the French and Spanish returned Minorca to Great Britain, and France withdrew its troops from Germany. From this treaty dated the colonial and maritime supremacy of Great Britain.

The Treaty of 1783

By the Treaty of Paris of Sept. 3, 1783, Great Britain formally acknowledged the independence of the United States, and the warring European powers, Britain against France and Spain, with the Dutch as armed neutrals, effected a large-scale peace settlement. The preliminary Anglo-American articles (which went unchanged) were signed on Nov. 30, 1782, after months of tortuous negotiations, in which the chief American plenipotentiaries, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, acquitted themselves so well that their achievement has been labeled "the greatest triumph in the history of American diplomacy."

France and Spain signed separate preliminary articles with Great Britain on Jan. 20, 1783, and the Dutch and British signed theirs on Sept. 2, 1783. These preliminary agreements (except the Anglo-Dutch one, which was not ratified by both powers until June, 1784) were signed as definitive treaties on Sept. 3, 1783.

The Anglo-American settlement fixed the boundaries of the United States. In the Northeast the line extended from the source of the St. Croix River due north to the highlands separating the rivers flowing to the Atlantic from those draining into the St. Lawrence River, thence with the highlands to lat. 45°N, and then along the 45th parallel to the St. Lawrence. From there the northern boundary followed a line midway through contiguous rivers and lakes (especially the Great Lakes) to the northwest corner of the Lake of the Woods, thence "due west" to the sources of the Mississippi (which were not then known).

The Mississippi, south to lat. 31°N, was made the western boundary. On the south the line followed the 31st parallel E to the Chattahoochee River and its junction with the Flint River, then took a straight line to the mouth of the St. Marys River, and from there to the Atlantic. The navigation of the Mississippi was to be open to the citizens of both nations.

Another section of the treaty granted Americans fishing rights off Newfoundland and the privilege of curing fish in the uninhabited parts of Labrador, Nova Scotia, and the Magdalen Islands, but not in Newfoundland. A third part provided that creditors of either side would be unimpeded in the collection of lawful debts. In a fourth section the American government promised to recommend to the several states that they repeal their confiscation laws, provide for restitution of confiscated property to British subjects, and take no further proceedings against the Loyalists.

In the treaty with France, Britain relinquished the restrictions that had been imposed on the French naval port of Dunkirk, but aside from minor adjustments in the West Indies and Africa, the territorial dispositions made in the Treaty of Paris of 1763 were generally continued. Spain, however, in its treaty with Britain, reacquired the Floridas in America and the island of Minorca in the Mediterranean, while the British retained Gibraltar.

The Treaty of 1814

The Treaty of Paris of May 30, 1814, was concluded between France on the one hand and Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia on the other after the first abdication of Napoleon I. France was confined to its boundaries of 1792. No indemnity was exacted, and England returned all the French colonies save Tobago, St. Lucia, and Mauritius. Britain also kept Malta. A general conference was to be called for the territorial settlement in Europe (see Vienna, Congress of). The leniency of the treaty to defeated France was chiefly due to the diplomatic skill of Talleyrand, who had engineered the restoration of Louis XVIII on the French throne.

The Treaty of 1815

After Napoleon's return, his defeat at Waterloo, and his second abdication, a new peace treaty was signed at Paris on Nov. 20, 1815. This treaty was much sterner than the one of the previous year. France was reduced to the boundary of 1790, was required to pay 700 million francs in reparations, and was made to pay for the maintenance of an Allied army of occupation in NE France, which was to remain for a maximum of five years. All the provisions of the treaty of 1814 not expressly revoked were to remain binding, as was the Final Act of the Congress of Vienna. On the same day Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia renewed the Quadruple Alliance.

Other Treaties

For the Treaty of Paris of 1856, see Paris, Congress of. For the Treaty of Paris of 1898, see Spanish-American War. After World War I several treaties were signed in 1919 and 1920 in or near Paris (see Versailles, Treaty of; Saint-Germain, Treaty of; Neuilly, Treaty of; Trianon, Treaty of; Sèvres, Treaty of). Again, after World War II, peace treaties were signed in Paris in 1947 between the Allies and Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland. Each treaty is a separate document.

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