Washington, Treaty of

Washington, Treaty of, negotiated in 1871, came into effect in 1873. Canadian PM Sir John A. Macdonald was one of 5 commissioners chosen to represent British interests, but he held little power during the deliberations. The issues were the American claim for losses stemming from the Alabama's depredations; the American desire to resume use of Canadian and Newfoundland inshore fisheries, denied 1818-54 and after the 1866 lapse of the Reciprocity Treaty; ownership of the San Juan Is in the Str of Georgia; and restitution to Canada for Fenian raids, 1866-70. The Americans refused to have the last item on the agenda. Some Americans hoped Britain would cede Canada in the negotiations. However, the treaty was settled in a series of arbitrations in Washington: the Alabama claims were settled in 1872 in Geneva for $15.5 million; the San Juan Is question was resolved by Germany, which gave them to the US; and the US was admitted to the Canadian inshore fishery for 12 years, in return for free entry to the American market for Canadian fish and $5.5 million. Britain eventually compensated Canada for the Fenian raids, with a $2.5-million loan guarantee.