On this day in 1783, England and the United States signed the treaty that ended the Revolutionary War and formally recognized the American colonies as free and independent states. It took more than seven years of fighting from the day the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia for this day to happen.
Tellingly, England could have driven a hard bargain. Instead, it conceded to the new republic all land between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi River, with the northern boundary pretty much as it is today. It also gave the Americans fishing rights off the Canadian coast. The generous terms of this treaty reduced tensions between the United States and England and ultimately set the stage for a lasting friendship between the two nations.