Anglo-American Convention of 1818
The Anglo-American Convention of 1818, also known as the Convention of 1818 between the United States and Britain, the London Convention or simply the Treaty of 1818 was a treaty signed in 1818 between the United States and the United Kingdom. It resolved certain standing boundary issues between the two nations, and allowed for joint occupation and settlement of the Oregon Country.
- Article I secured fishing rights along Newfoundland and Labrador for the U.S.
- Article II settled a boundary dispute caused by ignorance of actual geography in the boundary agreed to in the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War. This article created the anomalous Northwest Angle, the small section of the present state of Minnesota that is the only part of the United States outside of Alaska north of the 49th parallel.
- Article III provided for joint control of land in the Oregon Country for ten years. Both could claim land and both were guaranteed free navigation throughout.
- Article IV confirmed the Anglo-American Convention of 1815, which regulated commerce between the two parties, for an additional ten years.
- Article V agreed to refer differences arising from the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812, to "some Friendly Sovereign or State to be named for that purpose".
- Article VI established that ratification would occur within six months of signing the treaty.
The treaty was negotiated for the U.S. by Albert Gallatin, ambassador to France, and Richard Rush, ambassador to Britain; and for Britain by Frederick John Robinson, Treasurer of the Royal Navy and member of the privy council, and Henry Goulburn, an undersecretary of state. The treaty was signed on October 20, 1818. Ratifications were exchanged on January 30, 1819. The Convention of 1818, along with the Rush-Bagot Treaty of 1817, marked the beginning of friendly relations between the United Kingdom and its former colony, and paved the way for future good relations between the USA and Canada.
Despite the relatively friendly nature of the agreement, it nevertheless resulted in a fierce struggle for control of the Oregon Country in the following two decades. The British-owned Hudson's Bay Company, having previously established a trading network centered on Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, undertook a harsh campaign to restrict encroachment by U.S. traders and (later) emigrants to the area. By the 1830s, with emigration pressure in the U.S. mounting, the company undertook a deliberate policy to exterminate all fur-bearing animals from the Oregon Country, in order to both maximize its remaining profit and to delay the arrival of U.S. mountain men and settlers. The policy of discouraging settlement was undercut to some degree by the actions of John McLoughlin, Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver, who regulary provided relief and welcome to U.S. emigrants who had arrived at the post over the Oregon Trail. By the middle 1840s, the tide of U.S. emigration, as well as a U.S. political movement to seize the entire territory by force, led to a renegotiation of the agreement. The Treaty of Oregon in 1848 permanent established the 49th parallel as the boundary between the two nations to the Pacific Ocean.
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