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Program 13: Struggle for Identity

Border Treaties

Treaty of GhentThe boundaries between Maine and maritime Canada had been in dispute ever since the Revolution. The United States and Great Britain both claimed the northern borderlands of Maine and New Brunswick, and at issue were the rich forestlands that provided economic resources and jobs for people of both countries.

These four treaties are result of nearly fifty years of conflict and negotiation between the United States and Great Britain over the northeastern boundaries that divided Maine and Canada. They ended the last armed conflicts on Maine soil and created the shape of Maine as we know it today.

Treaty of Paris. 1783.
Marking the end of the American War for Independence, the Treaty of Paris recognized the United States as an independent nation and established national boundaries.

For the text of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, see: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/britian/paris.htm.


For more information and a portrait of the treaty signers go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Paris_(1783).

Jay’s Treaty. 1794-95
“ Britain seized American ships, forcing American sailors to serve in England's war against France. The United States, for her part, passed navigation laws that were potentially damaging to Great Britain.”
Named for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay (1745-1829). Jay was sent to England to negotiate a treaty.
Key tenets:
1. The withdrawal of British soldiers from posts in the American West
2. A commission to be established to settle outstanding border issues between the U.S. and Canada
3. A commission to be established to resolve American losses in British ship seizures and Loyalist losses during the War for Independence

For more information see:

Treaty of Ghent. 1814.
The treaty ending the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States was signed at Ghent (Belgium), December 24, 1814. Nothing was conceded by either side and neither side lost land or possessions. Essentially both countries agreed to abide by terms that had existed before the war despite having suffered economic losses and the loss of life on both sides.

For more information and the text of the treaty see:

Treaty of Washington (Webster Ashburton Treaty). 1842
This treaty addressed the geographic borders between the United States and Great Britain, and in Maine it finalized the northeast boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada.

To read the text of the treaty go to:


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