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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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Fox and the 1783 Negotiations

Fox and the 1783 Negotiations

(p.177) 5 Fox and the 1783 Negotiations
Britain and France at the Birth of America

Andrew Stockley

Liverpool University Press

Historical discussions of the peace negotiations that ended the War of American Independence have focused on the signing of the preliminary treaties on January 20, 1783. According to Jonathan Dull, the definitive peace treaties that were signed essentially ratified the preliminary agreement. However, this fails to consider the fact that Charles James Fox, the British foreign secretary, made a very genuine and concerted attempt to change a number of the preliminary articles. The way in which the 1783 negotiations were conducted reinforces some of the conclusions already drawn about France's motivations and underlying concerns. This chapter examines the peace negotiations and compares Fox's foreign policy to that of the earl of Shelburne. It first discusses the relative unimportance of America in the peace talks before turning to the rapprochement pursuit by French foreign minister Charles Gravier Vergennes.

Keywords:   peace negotiations, American Independence, peace treaties, Charles James Fox, France, foreign policy, earl of Shelburne, America, Charles Gravier Vergennes

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