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Treaty of Ghent

American victories at Plattsburg and Fort McHenry influenced the British to take the ongoing peace talks at Ghent, Belgium, more seriously. Napoleon had been defeated, but Britain was financially depleted. The American peace commission included Albert Gallatin, Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams. The resulting peace agreement, which basically restored prewar conditions, included the following provisions:

  • Called for the end of hostilities
  • Required that conquered territory and prisoners be returned
  • Appointed a commission to study lingering boundary issues between the United States and Canada.
What was most significant about the treaty was the lack of mention of such items as Impressment and Neutral Rights. The United States was strong enough to defeat Britain in what has been called a "second American Revolution," but was not powerful enough to force more favorable terms at the peace table.

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