End of the War, Treaty of Paris
For Kids: The Treaty of Paris was signed nearly two years after the Battle at Yorktown. What took so long?
After the Battle of Yorktown, Britain's King George III did not think he could win the war anymore, but he still did not want to give the American colonists independence from Great Britain.
Three representatives were sent from America to Great Britain to work out the terms of the peace treaty. Those men were John Adams, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin. It took them a great deal of time and discussion to finally convince King George III that America would not sign a peace treaty ending the Revolutionary War until that treaty included American independence from Great Britain.
It took time and discussion to work out the other details of the treaty, if not to the satisfaction, at least to the acceptance of the other parties involved who had fought on the side of the American colonists - the French, the Spanish, and the Dutch, each of whom had their own national interests.
Finally, in September 1783, the Treaty of Paris was ratified.
For America, The Treaty of Paris accomplished:
END OF WAR: The official end of the Revolutionary War
NEW GOVERNMENT: This treaty gave the colonies their independence from Great Britain. The 13 states were free to make their own rules and create their own state and national government without British interference. (Note to students: The Articles were written in 1781, two years before the end of the American Revolution. They were replaced with the Constitution of the United States in 1790. This is the same Constitution that is in place today. Only 27 amendments have been added over the past 225 years, 10 of which are the Bill of Rights, which were added immediately. I think it's safe to say our Founding Fathers did a very good job setting up a new government!)
MORE LAND: The British gave America all the land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River, and from Canada to the north and Florida to the south. Land that Parliament had "reserved" for the Indian nations would now be open for settlement.
REMOVAL OF BRITISH MILITARY: The British army and navy agreed to leave all American territories.
FREE TRADE: British Parliament had passes many laws to control trade in the American colonies. These laws were repealed, and American colonists were free to trade with whomever they chose.