Today in History | September 3 | Treaty of Paris signed – 1783
The war of Independence for the world’s first democracy, rejecting the colonial ideas of the Great Britain, under the leadership of the George Washington, 13 colonies signed the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, to form the United States of America.
The signing signified the US status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River. Defeating the British in the American Revolutionary War in alliance with France and others.
Defeating the British in the American Revolutionary War in alliance with France was humiliating for the Britons. However, during negotiations in Paris, the American delegation discovered that France would support independence, but no territorial gains.
Losing the war and the 13 colonies was a shock to Britain. The war revealed the limitations of Britain’s fiscal-military state when they discovered that they suddenly faced powerful enemies with no allies, and they were dependent on extended and vulnerable transatlantic lines of communication. The defeat heightened dissension and escalated political antagonism to the King’s ministers. Inside parliament, the primary concern changed from fears of an over-mighty monarch to the issues of representation, parliamentary reform, and government retrenchment. Reformers sought to destroy what they saw as widespread institutional corruption.
The result was a powerful crisis from 1776 to 1783. The peace in 1783 left France financially prostrate, while the British economy boomed thanks to the return of American business. The crisis ended after 1784 thanks to the King’s shrewdness in outwitting Charles James Fox (the leader of the Fox-North Coalition), and renewed confidence in the system engendered by the leadership of the new Prime Minister William Pitt. Historians conclude that loss of the American colonies enabled Britain to deal with the French Revolution with more unity and better organization than would otherwise have been the case. Britain turned towards Asia, the Pacific and later Africa with subsequent exploration leading to the rise of the Second British Empire