By August 1782, the earl of Shelburne and French foreign minister Charles Gravier Vergennes were both predisposed to a quick settlement as part of the peace negotiations. In the process, the two men had to establish a relationship of considerable trust and confidence. Each leader continued to seek the best possible outcome for his country while showing a willingness to compromise rival claims in the expectation of future co-operation. As a result, a relatively rapid and comprehensive peace, one that entitled both leaders to claim a measure of success, was realised. In Britain and France, Shelburne and Vergennes were both criticised for conceding more than was justified. Nevertheless, the negotiators were well satisfied with the final results. This chapter examines the peace negotiations that ended the War of American Independence and gave birth to America as a new republic.
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