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Thursday, September 3, 2015

PEACE | Sept. 3–Treaty with Brits; GW Goes Home

George Washington thought he was done.
When Yorktown got the Brits on the run.
But wise folk flew out to his residence,
And begged him to be first of our Presidents.
(Clerihew by JT Marlin.)
This day in 1783 was signed the second Treaty of Paris, between Britain and the newly independent American colonies, supposedly ending the Revolutionary War. The text is here.

It was 20 years after the first Treaty of Paris, signed between the British and the French, which wound up the French and Indian Wars and made the independence of the colonies possible.

Following the signing of the Treaty of Paris by representatives of the American colonies, General Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army and like Cincinnati's, retired to his home–Mount Vernon, Va.

Washington's return to civilian life was significant. It said to history -- "This was not just a war, it was a revolution." 

The Continental Congress had given him dictatorial powers. Some wanted Washington to become king. 

But he did not want this. He wanted a Republic - and land in the western territories for his veteran officers (as well as honoring of existing titles of property-owners in the region). 

Washington's farewells to the nation and to his officers were short-lived. Five years later he was elected as the first President of the United States... and the Brits came back until they were expelled a second time.