The Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War, was signed by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America.
The American Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence, began on 19 April 1775 between Great Britain and her Thirteen Colonies that had declared independence as the United States of America.
The conflict lasted for over eight years from its first shot to the signing of the Treaty. The Americans, having formed an alliance with France in 1778, had accepted the surrender of British troops under Charles Cornwallis on 17 October 1781. This resulted from the decisive victory at Yorktown by a combined force of American troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops under the Comte de Rochambeau.
A vote of ‘no confidence’ in the British government under Lord North soon led to the creation of a new government that began peace negotiations in April 1782. By the end of the summer the Americans had begun to negotiate directly with the British Prime Minister, Lord Shelburne, a move that forced France to agree a separate peace with Britain and which had the effect of weakening the relationship between the two allies.
The Treaty was drafted on 30 November, 1782 and signed the following year. It formally recognised that the United States would be free, sovereign, and independent. The land granted under the agreement to the United States by Britain has subsequently been described as “exceedingly generous”. However, in an excellent piece of diplomatic prediction by Lord Shelburne, this went on to provide Britain with a fast-growing and lucrative trading partner.