Ghent, Treaty of

Ghent, Treaty of,

1814, agreement ending the War of 1812War of 1812,
armed conflict between the United States and Great Britain, 1812–15. It followed a period of great stress between the two nations as a result of the treatment of neutral countries by both France and England during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars,
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 between the United States and Great Britain. It was signed at Ghent, Belgium, on Dec. 24, 1814, and ratified by the U.S. Senate in Feb., 1815. The American commissioners were John Q. AdamsAdams, John Quincy,
1767–1848, 6th President of the United States (1825–29), b. Quincy (then in Braintree), Mass.; son of John Adams and Abigail Adams and father of Charles Francis Adams (1807–86).
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, James A. BayardBayard, James Asheton
, 1767–1815, U.S. representative (1797–1803) and senator (1805–13) from Delaware, b. Philadelphia. Admitted to the bar in 1787, he began practice at Wilmington, Del.
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, Henry ClayClay, Henry,
1777–1852, American statesman, b. Hanover co., Va. Early Career

His father died when he was four years old, and Clay's formal schooling was limited to three years.
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, Jonathan Russell, and Albert GallatinGallatin, Albert
, 1761–1849, American financier and public official, b. Geneva, Switzerland. Left an orphan at nine, Gallatin was reared by his patrician relatives and had an excellent education.
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. Negotiations were begun in August, with the recent defeat of Napoleon I giving the British an advantage reinforced by the burning of the Capitol at Washington shortly afterward. Only the victory of Thomas Macdonough at Plattsburgh and the threat of further hostilities in Europe induced the British to give up their demands to control the Great Lakes and erect a Native American state under British control in the country NW of the Ohio River. Thus the agreement to restore territory and places taken by either party was a diplomatic victory for the United States. It was provided that commissions would be set up to determine the boundary from the St. Croix River west to Lake of the Woods. Both parties were to use their best endeavors to abolish the slave trade. No mention was made of the fisheries question, the impressment of American seamen, or the rights of neutral commerce.


See F. L. Engelman, The Peace of Christmas Eve (1962).

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