Study Guide

Treaty of Paris Compare and Contrast

By Joint effort of British-American diplomacy

  • Provisional Articles of 1782

    Think of this as the rough draft of the Treaty of Paris. It was important to get a document in place for everyone to mostly agree upon a framework…especially as the other option was "we all line up and start shooting cannons at each other some more."

    The articles are virtually identical—even down to the language used—but the biggest difference is the number of articles: the Provisional Articles has nine, the official treaty ten. The articles even line up perfectly. So Article 10, which only appears in the Treaty of Paris, is the one stipulating that it had to be ratified in six months.

    If they weren't going to change anything, you have to wonder why they bothered at all.

  • Jay Treaty

    The official title is the "Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation between His Britannic Majesty; and The United States of America." Normally people go ahead and shorten it to the Jay Treaty or Jay's Treaty. (Probably because TOACANBHBMATUSOA is a super-awkward acronym.)

    As you probably guessed, that "Jay" is for John Jay, one of the signers of the Treaty of Paris and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Basically, there was still a lot of tension between Great Britain and the U.S. at the time. British military outposts were a problem and the British had a habit of interfering in trade.

    The treaty got the British to back off and successfully averted war, but it wasn't popular. Jay only got the British to abandon some of their northwestern posts (which technically should have already been done, as per the Treaty of Paris), and gave the U.S. "most favored nation" status with Great Britain.

    So, yeah. Not much.

    But it did accomplish avoiding a war with Great Britain, which probably wouldn't have gone well the second time around.

  • Treaty of Ghent

    The Treaty of Ghent ended the war of 1812. (If you have to ask when that war took place, you might want to splash some water on your face—how long have you been studying?)

    This war was the American name for a longer series of conflicts centering around Napoleon. You remember him: short guy. Corsican. French emperor. Good with artillery. Wore nifty hats.

    So while Napoleon was fighting in Europe, the U.S. saw a good chance to settle some scores with Great Britain. It...didn't go well. At all.

    Britain invaded, captured Washington D.C. and even burned the White House to the ground. In fact, the only major military victory the United States won was the Battle of New Orleans, which took place two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent was signed. Yeah, news traveled slower back then.

    The Treaty of Ghent was considered a smashing success at the time because it surrendered no territory to Great Britain. Not a bit. After one of the worst beatings one country can take from another, it was considered a victory that nothing was actually lost.