The Treaty of Paris Period is the time between the end of the Revolutionary War and the start of the Constitutional Convention.
During the Treaty of Paris Period, a newly independent United States made a difficult but deliberate transition from fighting a war to governing a nation through several key steps (see below) that eventually culminated in a new Constitution. Without learning this history, and why these events took place during that time, it's difficult to understand why a new Constitution was needed in peacetime once the Revolutionary War was finally over. As a result, most Americans don't know about the first form of American government and who was in charge of it. Students learn a version of history that seems to skip right from the Revolution straight to the Constitution.
The Center for the Study of the Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87) is dedicated to interpreting and understanding the importance of the crucial events that took place between the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783 and the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a neglected era that is mostly omitted when teaching American history in elementary school, high school and college. The Treaty of Paris Period began with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and concluded when, following the end of Shays' Rebellion in early 1787, the Constitutional Convention commenced in Philadelphia.
and the rest of the story of America's pre-Constitution leadership,
including the 14 Forgotten Presidents of Congress, were recently featured on
Baltimore's WBAL Chanel 11 on Presidents' Day, February 18, 2013.
Click on the image to watch the video:
The Bridge between the Revolution and the Constitution
The signing of the Treaty of Paris in France on September 3, 1783 by Americans
Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams formally ended the Revolutionary War.
The resignation of General George Washington from the Army in Annapolis on December 23, 1783,
set the stage for permanent, civilian rule of the United States.
led to official recognition of American independence by Great Britain.
and passed by Congress in Annapolis, created new states out of the land
west of the Appalachian Mountains and laid the groundwork for future expansion.
allowed the author of the Declaration of Independence to represent America's foreign policy in Europe.
finally hosted by George Washington at his home at Mount Vernon from March 25-28, 1785,
led to an agreement on the use of the Potomac River known as the Mount Vernon Compact;
this document showed the new nation that the states could resolve the many
pressing issues, such as commerce, trade and expansion, that divided them.
made clear the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation and the need for constitutional reform.
This is where James Madison and Alexander Hamilton argued, after Shays' Rebellion was underway,
that the Articles of Confederation could not be amended and therefore
a Constitutional Convention needed to take place in Philadelphia in 1787.
The Center for the Study of the Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87) is part of the Annapolis Community Foundation, its fundraising "parent" organization. It has collected over $13,000 in donations and $8,000 in grants during the past calendar year to put together year-round activities themed around significant events that took place before the Constitution. The Center for the Study of the Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87), working with a database of over 1,300 people, has three primary goals:
- To sponsor themed events in Annapolis throughout the year correlating to significant dates within the Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87), especially those that took place in Annapolis. These events usually consist of a presentation by local experts, followed by questions, held in the Crown and Crab Room at the Maryland Inn, where exact replicas of signed documents from the "America's 14 Forgotten Presidents of Congress Before Washington" collection are displayed.
- To provide a place where Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87) walking tours, films and souvenirs can educate visitors about this lost history and and help teachers bring it back to life in the classroom.
- To spearhead an effort to rebuild Mann's Tavern, which burned down in 1919, to be that place.
Between Paris and Philadelphia, the road to the new United States began in Annapolis, the first peacetime capital of an officially independent United States. That road needs to lead to a destination, a home. We propose that the Annapolis Masonic Lodge no. 89 at 162 Conduit Street in Annapolis, Maryland be purchased by the National Park Service, the state of Maryland, Anne Arundel County or the city of Annapolis and then renovated and remodeled into a new Mann’s Tavern, the site of the 1783 dinner preceding George Washington’s resignation, the first Maryland-Virginia meeting in 1784 that turned into the 1785 Mount Vernon Compact and the 1786 Annapolis Convention that led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The events that occurred at Mann’s Tavern are second only to the Maryland State House in terms of where one can go in Annapolis to learn about the most important events in America’s history. Mann’s Tavern burned down in 1919 and was not rebuilt. The Maryland State House is the Independence Hall of Annapolis and it is rightly being restored to its original condition. Mann’s Tavern is the equal of Mount Vernon, Monticello, Arlington House or even Ford’s Theater, all of which have been rebuilt or restored. Mann’s Tavern needs to rise again! The site where the Annapolis Masonic Lodge no. 89 now meets is the last remaining building of the Mann’s Tavern complex. It should be remodeled to look like Mann’s Tavern by either adding a façade to the left side of the building or incorporating the house that occupies the space to its left into a new front entrance, across the street from the rear of Chick and Ruth’s Delly, in order to restore Mann’s Tavern.
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Stephen Kling: Chair, Board of Directors, Annapolis Community Foundation
Jennifer Navabi: Executive Director, Annapolis Community Foundation
Mark Croatti: President, Center for the Study of the Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87)
The Center for the Study of the Treaty of Paris Period (1783-87) is the public face of the:
Note: ACCS is part of the Annapolis Community Foundation