1814 Treaty of Ghent

Signing the agreement


British and American negotiators met in August 1814, at Ghent, Belgium; to negotiate a settlement of the War of 1812. They reached an agreement that restored all territory as it had been before the war without resolving the territorial issues.



American delegates, led by John Quincy Adams, arrived in Ghent, Belgium in 1814, but the British were in no great rush to settle. The British believed that their battlefield victories would allow them to impose a peace. Thus they maximized their demands, which included a buffer Indian state, and revoked American fishing rights off the coast of Newfoundland. The Americans had demanded the fishing rights as a prerequisite to negotiations.

Both sides retreated from their maximal demands. The Americans agreed to not discuss the issue of impressment, and the British agreed to drop their demand for an Indian state, as well as any changes in boundaries. The final agreement called for a cessation of hostilities and return to the borders that existed before the war began. Most important, however, it established boundary commissions to settle all future claims.