The American Revolution formally ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on Sept. 3, 1783. In early 1784, the peace treaty was ratified by the Continental Congress.
However, the war's hostilities had ended nearly two years earlier, when Gen. Cornwallis surrendered to Colonial forces after the Siege of Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781. After this defeat, domestic sentiment in England turned sharply against the war, and the British military engaged in no further major offensives in America, though it did hold on to New York City, Savannah, Charleston and the other land it had taken while peace negotiations took place. The treaty gave the new United States all of the colonial territory as well as the land between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River. It also forced England to recognize U.S. independence. For its part, the new country had to stop persecuting loyalists and return their property.