The Continental Congress Ratified the Treaty of Paris
When did the Revolutionary War officially
come to an end? On September 3, 1783, more than a year after the
last shots were fired, a peace treaty was drawn up in Paris.
Under the terms of the treaty, the United States was granted
territory as far west as the Mississippi River.
the Treaty of Paris was signed, it was sent to the Continental
Congress. The United States had six months to ratify (approve)
the document and return it to England. With the journey
requiring approximately two months, the treaty needed to be on
its way back to England by January. The valuable document almost
did not arrive in time.
A ratifying convention was
scheduled at the Maryland State House in November, but many of
the delegates did not arrive right away. By January 12, only
seven of the 13 states had sent their representatives. Time was
running short; where were the other delegates?
under the weak Articles of Confederation, the Continental
Congress lacked the power to enforce attendance at the
convention. On January 13, the convention needed one more
delegate. Finally, South Carolina Representative Richard
Beresford, who was ill, traveled to Maryland. As soon as he
arrived, the vote was taken, and on January 14, 1784, the treaty
was ratified. The United States was officially an independent