Did UK officially recognize USA's independence? How? Is USA still a UK colony?

It is well known that Americans got together and unilaterally declared the independence of the United States of America. The British did not like this: what ensued was the War of Independence.

How was the independence of the United States of America officially recognized by the Parliament or Crown of the United Kingdom? If they did not recognize it, are we officially still colonies of the Crown?

WRS - God save the Queen!

His Britannic Majesty was pleased to recognize the independence of the United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris.

(Interestingly, the only place I could find this on the Net with Google was on a British site. :rolleyes: )

How most interesting. (His Royal Majesty King George the Third was a wimp.)

What would happen if, say, His Royal Majesty the King of the United Kingdom decided to repeal the 1783 Treaty of Paris or decide not to recognize it? Sure, the Treaty says it applies to his heirs, but if the King doesn’t recognize it, that part doesn’t apply, right? What if there’s a King from a different House than King George III’s and therefore not, technically, his heir?


First off, it would mean Queen Elizabeth II was dead and Charles was on the throne.

Second, it would have no effect. What good would it do England to make a claim on US soil? They couldn’t enforce it, there is no reason for it, and no one else would take it seriously. It’s like saying what would happen if Georgia decided that it didn’t want to recognize the end of the Civil War, and reassert its independence. It wouldn’t mean anything, since it can’t enforce its claim.

If Britain reputiating one treaty, it would open itself open to other nations (including the United States) responding by reputiating treaties with them. Being as nothing would be gained by reputiating the Treaty of Paris, there would be little point in trashing their diplomatic credibility.

Plus, the royal family of England is a little more than a rubber stamp for the British Parliment. So for the King or Queen of England to say that they wanted the US would just result in people laughing harder at them than they do now.

I doubt, if this were even to happen, it would any of the Windsors. Maybe, say, King Aethelbert II of the House of Castille-Bourbon-Hohenzollern-Romanov-Papadakis.


Is it even possible now for a monarch to exercise any actual power or influence over Parliament/government? Are there laws to prevent this, or is this basically a tradition (albeit a strong and expected one) of the Crown?


IIRC, the power of the monarchy has gradually been nibbled away at over time by various laws passed by Parliment. As I understand it, the monarch only has the power to approve laws passed, he or she can’t reject any of them.

Actually, all acts of Parliament require Royal Assent. Even His Majesty’s Abdication Act of 1936 didn’t become effective until Edward assented to it.

However, no monarch has withheld from an Act of Parliament in about 300 years. Technically, it’s within the monarch’s power, but they don’t use it.

Zev Steinhardt

Who abdicated? Edward? Did he have to approve his own act, or did his successor have to approve the Act?

What would happen if a monarch withholds assent? Technically, the monarch would have to give Royal Assent to an Act dissolving the Crown - if that is what Parliament decided to do in punishment - which he/she would not give.


Not quite true, but near enough to the truth to make my comment a nitpick. The monarch does constitutionally retain the power of the veto, but since she (he) acts on the “advice” (i.e., instructions) of her (his) Government, i.e., the Prime Minister and Cabinet, who have a majority in Parliament, any law set before her (or him) will be one that she (he) is advised to sign into law; under normal circumstances, there will never be an occasion when she (he) will be advised to veto a bill.

It might be possible to construct a very off-the-wall scenario where the Royal Veto could in fact be invoked – for example, Parliament by a narrow margin passes a very controversial bill, the Government is defeated on a vote of confidence the same day, the P.M. resigns (as he’s honorbound to do) and the Queen sends for the former Leader of the Opposition to form a government – and he advises her to veto the controversial bill when it comes to her in the boxes the next day. But I trust you can see the improbability of that scenario.

A generation later (but with the same king), British regard for American sovreignity was a bit spotty. American passengers on American ships were routinely kidnapped and pressed into service to the Royal Navy. This was one of the justifications of the War of 1812.

We’ve been on mostly better terms since then.

WeRSauron, you posted a thread on “Was Mary, Mother of Jesus Canonized,” and less than an hour later, you started this thread, wondering if maybe the US didn’t officially exist. Are you getting into a “questioning authority” jag? Is there some crisis of faith we should know about? I’m not griping, I’m just curious where you’re going with this. If you want to know why we are all here, I don’t think I can help with that.

That one’s easy – where else would we be?


The King or Queen of England can say anything they want, because they don’t exist.

It’s all about precedent - which in this case would be what happened when Charles I tried to defy Parliament.

The Queen has just signed a bill outlawing foxhunting - which (being a sensible old girl) she rather likes. “La Reine la veult” - not this time she didn’t!

As to whether we could restablish our claim on the USA - it’s not us you have to worry about - It’s the French. They have issues with you right now.

Countries do from time time time repudiate peace treaties. For example, in the 1930s Germany decided to ignore the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. However, repudiating a treaty is just one step away from war. Germany redudiating Versailles led to Germany invading several European countries. If the UK repudiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, people would start wondering when the Royal Marines are going to be marching down 5th Avenue or Pennsylvania Avenue.

However, that’s pretty unlikely, since the UK and the US have been close allies for at least 80 years now, through two world wars, the Cold War, and other smaller events such as the current Iraqi War.