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Maryland State Capitol Annapolis, Maryland
The Treaty of Paris was ratified here, at the Maryland State Capitol

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The Continental Congress Ratified the Treaty of Paris
January 14, 1784

A ratifying convention was scheduled at the Maryland State House in November, but many of the delegates did not arrive right away. By January 12, only seven of the 13 states had sent their representatives. Time was running short; where were the other delegates?

Operating under the weak Articles of Confederation, the Continental Congress lacked the power to enforce attendance at the convention. On January 13, the convention needed one more delegate. Finally, South Carolina Representative Richard Beresford, who was ill, traveled to Maryland. As soon as he arrived, the vote was taken, and on January 14, 1784, the treaty was ratified. The United States was officially an independent nation.

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