The Treaty of Ghent

The Treaty of Ghent, signed on December 24, 1814, in Ghent, currently in Belgium, was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The treaty largely restored relations between the two countries to status quo ante bellum. Due to the era's slow speed of communication, it took weeks for news of the peace treaty to reach America, well after the Battle of New Orleans had begun.

The treaty released all prisoners and restored all war lands and boats, that is, returned to America approximately 10,000,000 acres (40,000 km2) of territory near Lakes Superior and Michigan, in Maine, and on the Pacific coast. The treaty made no major changes to the pre-war situation, but did make a few promises. Britain promised to return captured slaves, but instead a few years later paid the United States £250,000 for them. The British proposal to create an Indian buffer zone in Ohio and Michigan collapsed after the Indian coalition fell apart. The United States ignored the guarantees it made in article IX regarding American treatment of the Indians.