Making Peace and a New Nation: 1782-1789:
Declaration of Independence

Although the defeat of Lt. General Charles Cornwallis virtually decided the Revolutionary War, fighting continued. Partisan fighting continued in the South between Tories and Patriots. Maj. General Nathanael Greene spent the remainder of 1781 battling the remaining British forces in South Carolina. In the north, fighting continued with the Indians who had been allied with Britain. In all, this late fighting changed little, only continuing the suffering of all involved.

Meanwhile, in Paris, peace negotiations slowly took place. Finally on September 3, Britian, France, Spain, Holland and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris. On November 25, 1783, New York, which had been held by Maj. General Guy Carleton since 1782, when he replaced Lt. General Henry Clinton as Commander in America, was evacuated by the last British soldier and General George Washington finally took possession of the city. On December 23, George Washington resigned his commission. Finally on January 14, 1784, the Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris.

On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Congress convened in Philadelphia Pennsylvania with the objective of putting together a unified Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation. On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed. nine states then ratified the Constitution over the next several months ending with New Hampshire's ratification on June 21, 1788. Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Vermont would subsequently ratify the Constitution. On March 4, 1789, the United States officially commenced under its Constitution. On April 30, 1789, George Washington was sworn in as the First President of the United States.

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