How Did the Treaty of Paris Affect America?

The Treaty of Paris of 1783 affected America by formally ending the Revolutionary War and providing British recognition of American independence. It also expanded America’s territories, arranged for the release of prisoners of war and gave details of postwar debts, property and other economic considerations.

After a short preface, the Treaty of Paris acknowledged the United States as a free and independent entity to which the British crown had no claim. All prisoners of war were to be released. The western borders of the United States were extended all the way west to the Mississippi River, with both the United States and Britain allowed access to the river. The United States received fishing rights on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Grand Banks. Additionally, all debts were to be paid to creditors on both sides. Confiscated lands were to be returned to their owners, property of the British Army was to remain in the United States, and territory captured by Americans after the treaty was to be returned. During the negotiations, Benjamin Franklin tried to get Great Britain to cede Quebec to the United States. The British first accepted this proposal but afterwards rejected it.

Great Britain also signed separate treaties with Spain, France and the Netherlands. In America, Britain regained certain territories in the Caribbean, and Spain acquired Florida.