Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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The Treaty of Ghent

Efforts to reach a peace began almost as soon as the War had begun in 1812.  Czar Alexander I of Russia had offered his services as mediator, but this was rejected by the British.  They instead proposed direct negotiation.  James Madison appointed John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and Albert Gallatin as peace commissioners in late 1813, but the delay of distances and the wavering of fortunes in battle prevented the two sides from meeting in serious negotiation until the summer of 1814.  The treaty restored Canadian and western United States territories to their pre-war status-quo.  Since the war between Britain and France had ended, the wartime restrictions on trade and the impressment of sailors had become irrelevant.  The document was ratified by the United States Senate in February 1815, making it official.