JAY'S TREATY (1795)

(TREATY OF AMITY, COMMERCE, AND NAVIGATION)

Signed by British-American Diplomats--Nov. 1794; Senate ratified--June 1795; House agrees to appropriate funds necessary to implement treaty--Apr. 1796

  1. Britain agreed to evacuate its forts on American territory by June 1, 1796.
  2. Citizens of the U.S. and Britain could freely cross the border between the U.S. and Canada.
  3. Citizens of the U.S. and Britain could freely navigate all waters within the U.S. and Canada (including the Mississippi River).
  4. U.S. agreed to pay the pre-1783 debts of Americans to British creditors; the amount to be paid would be settled by a joint British-American arbitration commission (final settlement in Jan. 1802 was $2.7 million).
  5. Boundary disputes between U.S. and Canada were to be settled by a joint British-American arbitration commission.
  6. U.S. accepted Britain's definition of the trading rights of neutrals in time of warfare. Food, naval stores, and French-owned goods were added to the list of contraband items. Contraband carried by American vessels to the ports of Britain's enemies could be seized by Britain. Amount of compensation for illegal seizures by Britain (since 1793) would be determined by a joint British-American arbitration commission (final settlement in 1802 was $10.3 million). The U.S. accepted the "Rule of 1756" whereby a belligerent which had prohibited foreign nations from trading with its colonies in time of peace could not open up its colonial ports in time of war.
  7. U.S. agreed that it would not allow its ports to be used as bases of operation for ships of Britain's enemies.
  8. U.S. agreed to grant Britain most-favored-nation status.
  9. Britain granted to U.S. most-favored-nation status for trade with British Isles and British East Indies; British West Indies were opened for trade to American vessels of 70 tons or less; U.S. ships would not carry molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, and cotton to any port outside U.S.


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Dr. Harold D. Tallant, Department of History, Georgetown College
400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324, (502) 863-8075
E-mail: htallant@georgetowncollege.edu