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Britain and France at the Birth of AmericaThe European Powers and the Peace Negotiations of 1782-83$
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Andrew Stockley

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780859896153

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859896153.001.0001

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Shelburne, Vergennes and the European Settlement

Shelburne, Vergennes and the European Settlement

(p.74) 3 Shelburne, Vergennes and the European Settlement
Britain and France at the Birth of America

Andrew Stockley

Liverpool University Press

Richard Morris's account of the peace negotiations of 1782–1784 that ended the War of American Independence is incomplete with respect to the Anglo-American settlement, and is also inadequate in terms of Britain's negotiations with France, Spain, and the Netherlands. By depicting America as the centre around which all diplomatic efforts revolved, Morris exaggerates the excitement and novelty of the birth of America, and glosses over the fact that, for contemporaries, the European negotiations were considerably much more significant. This chapter examines the peace negotiations of 1782–1784 by focusing on compromise and the role of Europe. In particular, it looks at the roles played by the earl of Shelburne and French foreign minister Charles Gravier Vergennes in making the peace between Britain and America a reality.

Keywords:   peace negotiations, Richard Morris, American Independence, Britain, France, Spain, America, Europe, earl of Shelburne, Charles Gravier Vergennes

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