On 17 Oct. 1781, General Lord Charles Cornwallis handed over 7,000 British soldiers to the Continental Army after a crushing defeat in the Battle of Yorktown. When news of Lord Cornwallis` surrender reached Britain, Prime Minister Lord Frederick North, the 2nd Earl of Guilford, seized „how he would have been shot in the chest” and shouted „Oh, my God! It`s over! It was at this time that Lord North, along with the rest of Parliament and King George III, realized that a victory over the thirteen colonies was not inevitable. In reality, victory required much more troops, more resources and more money than Parliament could give any effort. Instead of sending more troops to North America by sea, British delegates were sent to France to begin the initiation of a peace treaty with the United States. Two years later, on September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed and the Revolutionary War officially ended. The Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783 by American and British representatives and ended the American Revolutionary War. On the basis of a preliminary treaty of 1782, the agreement recognized the independence of the United States and granted the United States an important Western territory. The Treaty of 1783 was one of many treaties signed in Paris in 1783, establishing peace between Great Britain and the allied nations of France, Spain and the Netherlands. Franklin revealed the Anglo-American agreement to Vergennes, which opposed the manner in which it was obtained, but was willing to accept the agreement in broader peace negotiations and agreed to provide the United States with another loan that Franklin had requested. When Spanish forces failed to conquer Gibraltar, Mr. Vergennes managed to convince the Spanish government to approve the peace. Negotiators abandoned a previous complex plan to redistribute undefeated colonies into a colony that largely preserves the existing territorial benefits of Spain and France.
In North America, Spain received Florida, which it had lost during the 7-year war. Spanish, French, British and American representatives signed a provisional peace treaty on 20 January 1783 that heralded the end of hostilities. The formal agreement was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783. The Congress of the American Confederation ratified the treaty on January 14. In the summer and autumn of 1782 John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, who represented the colonies, negotiated with the British delegates in Paris. By the end of November, delegates from both sides had agreed, but British delegates had to explain everything to King George III. England also had to make peace with France and Spain before signing the treaty. In September 1782 Benjamin Franklin, along with John Adams and John Jay, began formal peace negotiations with the British. The Continental Congress originally appointed a five-member committee with Franklin, Adams and Jay, as well as Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens, to lead the discussions. Jefferson and Laurens both missed the sessions – Jefferson had travel delays, and Laurens had been captured by the British and was held at the Tower of London.
The American delegation, which was suspicious of the French, decided to negotiate separately with the British.