The Treaty of Ghent concluded on the 24th of December 1814 had completed the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The agreement restored relations between the two countries to the status quo — that is, it restored the borders of the two countries to the line before the start of hostilities.


On the one hand, the War of 1812 was caused by the desire of England to re-subjugate the United States by weakening it economically and making the USA entirely dependent on England. On the other hand, on the 18th of May 1812, the US Congress declared war against England because Great Britain wanted to assert its right to check American ships in search of deserters of the British Navy. Besides, England continuously obstructed America’s trade with Europe. Americans also believed that the British people in Canada helped to raise the rebel sentiments of the Indians in the North-West American colonies. At the same time, Americans expected to expand their possessions at the expense of Canada, which was at that time a colony of Great Britain.

In September 1812, Russia, interested in establishing peace between England and the United States to concentrate all forces to fight Napoleon, attempted to reconcile the warring parties. Alexander I offered to mediate the negotiations between countries. Accepted by the United States, the proposal was rejected by England twice. However, considering the opinion of Russia, the British government agreed to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent directly with the representatives of the US, choosing the most auspicious moment for themselves during the war to encourage Americans to make concessions. Negotiations began on the 11th of July 1814. In the beginning, when the military campaign was deployed in favor of the British, they delayed negotiations. Soon the Americans went on the offensive battle, and the British hurried to sign the Treaty.

The Treaty of Ghent provided the establishment of peace and the preservation of the borders established by the Treaty of Versailles of 1783. The significance of The Treaty of Ghent is controversial because it did not settle anything by its peace articles, and did not resolve the contradictions that existed before the war. The contentious issues that caused the war were passed over in silence. They concerned the question of borders, freedom of the seas, and the rights of neutral states. The abandonment of the occupied territories and the return of prisoners restored the status quo. Disagreements concerning territorial claims, forced mobilization of American sailors, and compensation for damages were not resolved. However, the signing of the peace Treaty testified the psychological victory of the Americans. It did not solve all the disputed issues and acted only as of the basis for further negotiations.

Nevertheless, both sides agreed to cease hostilities against the Indians, to establish commissions, to determine the boundaries and rights on islands in Passamaquoda Bay, and take measures to stop the slave trade. The Treaty of Ghent emphasized the ending of the War of 1812. Later, under the agreement in 1818 (which was in part a continuation of the Treaty of Ghent), the northern border of the United States was established – from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains along the 49th parallel. England renounced the right for free navigation on the river Mississippi, and American vessels were granted free access to British possessions in West India for ten years. Afterward, another convention of 1818 did not resolve controversial issues related to the policy of freedom of the seas and neutrality.