Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History 1783 Treaty of Paris  CSPAN  January 10, 2021 12:00pm-12:36pm EST

12:00 pm
he went to france in the 1850's. he had it specially designed. it was made as a compromise. but he didn't want to get too elaborate. you can tell that it is a very simple suit, modeled after a naval uniform, yet it is not a military uniform. a by corn hat. simple, yet elegant. watch the entire tour at 6 p.m. eastern sunday on american artifact, here on american history tv. >> university of north carolina at chapel hill professor kathleen duval teaches a class about the end of the american revolution and the 1783 treaty of paris. she talks about the competing goals between the united states, british empire, france, and
12:01 pm
spain, and how delegates reached a compromise. the university of north carolina at chapel hill provided this video. prof. duval: welcome to history 238 at the university of north carolina chapel hill. in the last lecture i gave to this class, french and american forces defeated the british at the battle of yorktown, and british public opinion had shifted away from continuing this long war to put down a rebellion in the 13 british colonies that were rebelling. today we will go to paris in july of 1782 where britain and its former colonists were beginning to negotiate. what would be the result of this war for american independence? first of all, independence itself was a foregone conclusion.
12:02 pm
the former colonies, the 13 that had risen in rebellion against their empire, were going to be an independent nation. there had been several attempts by the british over the course of the war to negotiate an end, giving these colonies everything short of independence. the colonies had decided to continue fighting. so one result of the treaty of paris was definitely that they were going to be independent. were three issues that were to be decided in paris. first of all, the postwar relationship between great britain and its former colonies, especially the economic relationship. would they have no relationship, would they be enemies, when they not trade? would they go back to the empire andtus of an its colonies in economic terms where the united states would
12:03 pm
produce raw materials for the industrializing empire of great britain? or would they find a way to be more equal, friendly nations, allied nations perhaps? what would be the relationship between great britain and the united states? second, what would be the state of loyalists, people in the united states who had opposed the rebellion and independence, including enslaved people who had escaped to british lines over the course of the war. and third, how big would the united states be? would britain surrender just the atlantic coast, or also the land west of the appalachians, canada, florida, would those places be part of the united states, where they continue to be part of the -- would they continue to be part of the british empire? at the opening of negotiations benjamin franklin told officials
12:04 pm
that given the fact that they were going to have to recognize american independence they should mollify the american people and franklin argued keep the united states from being dependent on france, britain's main enemy, by bringing the united states into a good relationship with britain, bringing the united states back into the british folder, even as it continued as an independent nation. franklin warned reconciliation would not be easy. americans are very angry about this war. the war went on a long time. there was a lot of suffering. they are going to have to give them something big. franklin suggested the solution to this problem, the way to bring the united states back into the arms of great britain was to give the united states all british lands on the continent, as reparations. give the united states canada, the west, florida. that would appease them now,
12:05 pm
pull them away from france, and it will prevent conflict in the future because britain claims land on the edge of the united states that will lead to conflict before too long between the united states and britain. so basically franklin's proposal looked something like this. this new united states was in debt, they owed money to british merchants, they owed money to france and spain. they had no way of raising revenue, of forcing anybody in the united states to pay revenue, into the treasury, to repay this debt. unpaid, hungry army
12:06 pm
that expected to be rewarded. the british still occupied new york city, charleston, savannah. all of canada was securely held by britain, and canadians had proved they did not what to join the united states. they had every opportunity to join the united states. the posts were still held by the british. in west florida the spanish had won several posts from britain. and there were native nations region,ut the throughout the continent, of course, that had not surrendered when the british surrendered at yorktown. but benjamin franklin could make the most outrageous proposal sound reasonable. prime minister listened, to a point. he first said, we will not give you canada.
12:07 pm
that is not happening, franklin. but he told franklin britain would be willing to surrender the west south of the great lakes, though not canada. everything to the south. and britain's reasoning here was, this is a troublesome place. some of it was actually held by spain. spain had won from britain during the war. it was an expensive place to maintain and it was full of native allies of britain who very much ran the place themselves. britain did not control the west in any way. of course, those native allies would be outraged, will be disgusted by britain's betrayal of them in giving this place away. even imagining that they could give this place away to the united states, but there were no native american representatives in paris in 1782.
12:08 pm
americans' european allies, france and spain, were there. and spain knew it had won a lot of this territory from britain during the war, and spain also held louisiana, and texas, and florida, so the entire western 2/3 of the continent was recognized by europeans as being part of the spanish empire, as well as new mexico and places to the south. franklin would have to maneuver around this. rather thanmpare, think of franklin's audacious proposal, this is the more reasonable request of the united states. that they get the eastern 13board, which had been the
12:09 pm
colonies, and pretty much everything else to the mississippi river, except for the narrowest definition of what belongs to spain. posts that spain had won during the war and britain had already said britain was going to return florida to spain at the end of the revolution. that was what the united states , somewhat more realistically, wants. spain in turn makes a proposal of a smaller united states. the united states could have the places that it clearly controlled, that clearly were grantn's to independence to from maine to georgia, but that everything west of the appalachians should be spain's because it was won during the course of the american revolution, as well as florida. now, france needed to appease spain for its participation in the war. france had drawn spain into the
12:10 pm
war, and one of the things france had promised spain was that spain would win back gibraltar. gibraltar is that piece of land at the very southern tip of spain that it irritated spain to no end that the british had occupied in 1704. gibraltar had been contested. it is obviously a key position , the entrance to the mediterranean there. between the atlantic and mediterranean. gibraltar had been contested since antiquity. occupied in turn by phoenicians, moors, visigoths, spain, and the british in 1704. in 1779 after spain joined the american revolutionary war against britain the spanish and the french begin what historians count as the 14th ever seige of gibraltar. -- the british and
12:11 pm
the french -- besieged gibraltar and by sea. a spanish fleet surrounded and blockaded gibraltar for three years, seven months, and 12 days. the final days of the siege of gibraltar came in september 1782, during the negotiations ongoing in paris that had begun in july. in a six-day battle the british destroyed the floating battery the spanish had constructed. the british killed more than 1000 of the spaniards besieging gibraltar. france needed a compensation package for spain, because they were not going to get gibraltar back. so here is france's proposal. you can see it is in between what the united states is asking for and what the spanish suggest.
12:12 pm
the french say yes, the americans obviously get the 13 colonies. they also get to keep eastern kentucky, what we know as eastern kentucky and tennessee. the lands between the ohio and tennessee rivers. the spanish get florida, of course, because they won them, and will draw that border with what the spanish had won at the tennessee river. you can see that part of what is now mississippi and alabama and western georgia. it will go to spain under the french proposal. the french should keep the northwest in the region north of the ohio river. this seems like a strange proposal for the french to suggest they give more to their british enemies than the americans would give to the british. but the reason for this is that the french were determined to keep the united states as weak
12:13 pm
as possible. and keeping them weak and dependent upon the french would be easier if the british are a strong neighbor on the border. the u.s. is scared of the british. they will be more dependent upon the french. the american delegation faces a delicate situation. their enemy was offering them the deal they wanted. their ally was opposed to it. congress sent john adams to help. benjamin franklin is a consummate diplomat and politician. he has some resentment at britain, for sure. he wore the same coat as when he was humiliated in front of parliament in 1774, and he had a good experience in paris during the war.
12:14 pm
but john adams was thoroughly anti-french. adams grumbled the policy of the french foreign minister against the united states was to keep his hand under our chin to --vent us from drowning, not but not to lift our heads above the water. adams is very suspicious of the french and their motives and their desire to keep the united states under their thumb. at dinner he was convinced that the count and his wife were trying to get him to put down his guard. adams later wrote, she made me sit next to her and was remarkably attentive to me the whole time. the count, who sat opposite, was constantly calling out to me to know what i would eat.
12:15 pm
were notnvinced they just being good hosts. it was a plot to get him to reveal the american negotiating strategy. adams was the descendent of puritans. was toes how proudly he triumph over the temptation to not reveal anything, not to enjoy himself in paris. adams, franklin, and john jay, who is also a part of the negotiators for the united states, were in a bind. under the treaty that they had signed with france, they were not allowed to make a separate peace with great britain. and france, under its treaty with spain, was not allowed to make peace without spain's agreement. the americans felt they were being held hostage for spain's benefit. and they realized the best terms for the united states would be a
12:16 pm
separate peace with great britain. and that is what they did, despite their alliance with france. the united states and great britain signed the treaty of paris -- commissioners for both sides signed the treaty on september 2, 1783. the british commissioners refused to sit for the portrait. there were just done with this revolution, completely. that is what benjamin west's planned portrait of the british and u.s. commissioners only had u.s. commissioners in it. the french foreign minister was appalled at this betrayal. but franklin hinted that if he made too much fuss about it he would be even further pushing the united states into the arms of britain. better to act nobly about it now and try to keep the french-u.s. relationship. france and spain signed treaties
12:17 pm
as well with great britain, and the war was over. the american delegation went behind france's back because britain gave them all they had hoped for, and almost all they had dreamed of. the treaty of paris gave the united states independence, of course. it declared the united states free, sovereign, and independent. the british agreed to withdraw their troops from american territory with all convenient speed. the british gave in to demands about the rights to fish off of newfoundland and nova scotia. that was important to new england. the british promised the united states unencumbered navigation of the mississippi river. we will return to that in a moment. and the british backed off on their demands for loyalists. all they did in the treaty of
12:18 pm
paris, all the british did was insist that congress recommend to the states that refugees, loyalist refugees, the allowed to come home and reclaim their property. both the united states and the british knew the states would probably ignore this recommendation. article seven of the treaty promised that britain would evacuate occupied areas without -- and this is quoting from the treaty -- "without carrying away any negroes or other property of inhabitants." enslaved african americans would just be returned to their masters. finally, the treaty gave everything between the atlantic and the mississippi river, including the entire appalachian west from the great lakes, so from canada south to florida to
12:19 pm
the united states, completely ignoring spain, except for that sliver of florida, and completely ignoring britain's native allies and all of the natives lived in and controlled that place. to recap. the united states sold out its french and spanish allies. and britain sold out its africa -- it's native american allies. ground generals on the ignored article seven. they took black-and-white loyalist with them when they left. they were not going to abandon enslaved people who had run to the british for safety back into the hands of their former masters. in example, in new york city 1783, or than 27,000 additional -- let mend more than
12:20 pm
start over. more than 27,000 british soldiers and 30,000 black and white loyalists were evacuated from new york city. on 100 ships. before they left new york city, british soldiers cut the ropes that were used to hoist the flag and left the british flag flying at the southern tip of manhattan and they greased the flagpole to make it as hard as possible for the americans to replace the british flag, although they did manage to do that. on paper, paper the u.s. and british delegates signed, the united states gained a vast western empire. on the ground it was much more complicated. the british continued to occupy forts, including niagara and detroit along the great lakes , and they said the united states had to repay its war debts from before the war before britain would evacuate those posts.
12:21 pm
spain and it up, as i said, planning a separate treaty with britain in which it received east florida, as well as west florida, that it had won during the war. the spanish declared that the parts of the treaty of paris signed between britain and the united states that gave places that spain claimed as part of its empire to the united states were invalid, and spain basically began to try to enforce its proposal, its version of the ways that north america should be divided up after the war. spain already supplied forts west of the appalachians, and because spain had controlled new had,nians, which it had spain closed the mississippi to the united states. now, this is tremendously
12:22 pm
important to the united states. because of their farms are going to expand across the appalachian , they need to get those agricultural products to market. extremely expensive to cart them back over the appalachians to ports on the east coast. so, the much easier, much more profitable way to get those crops to market are to send them down the ohio and tennessee rivers to the mississippi and out the port of new orleans. spain says nope, you are not using the port of new orleans. and if we catch you on the mississippi river, we will seize your ships, your boats. native nations occupied almost all of the contested land. almost all of the land between the appalachians and the mississippi river, some 25,000 square miles. their sovereignty over that land not only was true on the ground. it had been recognized
12:23 pm
repeatedly by european empires, including by the british in 1763, at the end of the seven years war. native nations there did not accept the invasion, domination of their lands based on a treaty they had not been a party to. based on a war they had not surrendered in. the six nations told the british commander at fort agora, i could never believe that your king could pretend to cede to america what was not his own to give. spain and britain, even though they are enemies of each other, spain and britain both continued to supply native nations with military goods, weapons, and ammunition. they continue to supply the ohio the shawnee'sracy there. and they supplied an emerging native confederacy in the south
12:24 pm
made up of creeks and choctaw and chickasaw's, and some cherokee. both spain and britain hoped to keep native nations as a buffer between their claims, the british in canada, and the spanish to the west of the mississippi and down through mexico, as a buffer against american expansion into those places. so, if the united states wanted to expand west, which they absolutely did, they would have to win it on the battlefield. the fighting ended in the east with yorktown in the signing of 1781. the treaty of paris in 1783. novelw from the revolutionary that some fighting to continue after yorktown, even in mainland north america. but if those battles end by 1783, war continued in the west for another 12 years. this war went badly at first for
12:25 pm
the new american nation. there were many raids by native warriors on settlements that tried to creep out onto native land. there were skirmishes between native fighting forces and settlers. and there were important defeats of u.s. troops in this era. in october 1790 the miami war chief lured an american force across the ohio river and deep into territory that was controlled by miami and shawnee and other members of the ohio valley confederacy. the militia, as you might expect, broke and ran after the attack and the regulars were devastated. many of them are killed by confederacy forces. a year later in the fall of 1791 general arthur st. clair led a
12:26 pm
new american army west. there were over 2000 men in the army, both militia and regulars, and some 200 women, both enlisted women and camp followers. st. clair led them into ohio country to try to defeat the confederacy. by then, george washington was president. warnote st. clair to sinclair. washington wrote, "as one of whose early life was particularly engaged in indian feel myself competent to counsel st. clair. beware of surprise. again, and again, general, beware of surprise." george washington was a great general. st. clair, not so much.
12:27 pm
in 1777 st. clair had been the commander at fort ticonderoga and he allowed the fort to be captured virtually without a shot because he had neglected the high ground around the fort. sinclair -- st. clair was no less negligent. st. clair posted just a few centuries overnight. and confederation forces, mostly shawnee's, swept into the camp, surprised the forces virtually unopposed. most broke and ran and allowed the regulars to be killed. on the united states side 631 men were killed and 286 wounded. more than half of the men were casualties, and most of the 200 women were killed or captured. it was an overwhelming defeat for the united states. as overwhelming as radek's 'sfeat had been -- braddock defeat had been at the beginning
12:28 pm
of the revolutionary war. these were greatly embarrassing to the new american national government. the victories on the native side persuaded many native fighters orpersist in their raids join in on the raids against american settlers trying to move on to their lands. war also continued in the south, particularly between georgia and the creeks. creeks being supplied by the spanish. alexander was one of the main creek leaders in this war, as you can tell from his name, had scottish parentage. his father was a scottish trader and merchant. alexander's mother was creek. creeks are matrilineal. by having a creek mother and a creek family through her , alexander was fully creek. he had a clan. he had membership. this is not a picture of him. this is a creek leader from
12:29 pm
around the same time. we don't have a picture of alexander, but this gives you a picture of how he might have dressed. alexander had the ambition of building a southern confederacy. to parallel the confederacy we have been talking about in the ohio valley. to build it out of his people, the creeks, and also the chickasaw, choctaw, and cherokees. with choctaws and , "it isw's, he wrote well known that from the beginning of the settlement of the english colony of carolina and georgia up to the date of that treaty, the treaty of paris, never have they had title to or pretended to own these our lands. " reflecting what the six nation diplomats say that britain cannot in a treaty we were not party to give away lands that do not belong to them. they belong to us.
12:30 pm
he worked hard to bring in support from the spanish, who agreed that the americans wanted to overrun this land and the spanish knew that their best opportunity for holding onto it in the face of the united states and the u.s. growing population, was a strong alliance with the creeks and other native nations. one spanish official wrote about his worries of the unmeasured ambition of new people. advancing and multiplying with a prodigious rapidity. nobody can believe how fast the u.s. population is growing. so, the creeks and spaniards banded together and they officially allied with both each other and with other southeastern native nations, including the choctaw, chickasaw, and the group of cherokees still fighting in this era. in the treaty of
12:31 pm
pensacola, the treaty was signed between the spanish and the creeks. the treaty of pensacola declared that the treaty of paris signed between britain and the united states was invalid in its claim that britain could give to the united states land that belonged to native nations and that was part of the spanish empire. one of the things the treaty of pensacola shows us is that a native nation like the creeks can agree to being part of the spanish empire because it does not affect them at this point in any way except to provide them with a good source of trade and especially of military assistance. very different, the creeks know, than being part of the united states, which would mean them having to surrender much of their land to the united states. also in the treaty of paris, the treaty declared a free nation of creeks, and the language is really important. the free nation of creeks expect
12:32 pm
his majesty the king of spain to protect them against those who believe they have a sovereign right to their villages. continuing in careful wording, the treaty of pensacola says , spain agrees the creek nation is the proprietor. over and over, it says. nations have this same kind of language. the game promises to secure and guaranteed to them those lands which they actually hold, according to the right by which they possess them. the treaties with the creeks, the choctaw, and the chickasaw began secretly sending even more military aid to its native allies fighting the united states. so, to wrap up, in the treaty of
12:33 pm
paris the united states got everything that john adams hoped for. thatthing short of canada benjamin franklin hoped for. much beyond what they had expected. but what was promised on paper was very different from the reality in the early decades of the united states. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] in historyo lectures by streaming our podcast anywhere, anytime. you are watching american history tv on c-span3. ♪ >> you are watching american history tv. every weekend on c-span3, explore our nation's past. american history tv on c-span3. created by america's cable television companies and today brought to you by these television companies as a public service.
12:34 pm
♪ american history tv on c-span3. exploring the people and events that tell the american story, every weekend. today at 6:00 p.m. eastern on "american artifacts," we did visit the diplomacy pavilion, where artifacts are stored. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on "the presidency," susan bales, daughter of gerald ford, reflects on the family's time in the white house. exploring the american story. watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. lectures in history continues with another class from university of north carolina at chapel hill professor kathleen duval. next she teaches about political issues in the early american republic, including clashes between federalists and
12:35 pm
anti-federalists, and u.s. relationships with britain and france. she describes the mixed reception to the french and haitian revolutions, as well as domestic unrest over whiskey taxes and the alien and sedition act. -- acts. the university of north carolina at chapel hill provided this video. prof. duval: the articles of confederation passed during the revolution, had created a national government that was too weak to run the country. constitution, written and ratified at the end of the 1780's, was intended to deal with the economic and governance problems that had threatened to tear the nation apart in those years right after the revolution. the constitution was also intended to persuade americans that it was worth it to stick together. that being part of the united states was


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on