Treaty of Washington

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.

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.