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The Signing of the Treaty of Ghent, Christmas Eve, 1814, oil on canvas by Sir Amèdée Forestier, 1914

On December 24, 1814, after four months of negotiations in Ghent, Belgium, delegates from Great Britain (left) and the United States (right) signed a treaty to end the War of 1812.


Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sulgrave Institution of the U.S. and Great Britain

The Signing of the Treaty of Ghent, Christmas Eve, 1814

War of 1812: The Treaty of Ghent

The Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812. Signed in Ghent, Belgium, on Christmas Eve, 1814, it was approved by the British Parliament on December 30; the United States Senate approved it for ratification on February 16, 1815. Though the war had no clear winner, the treaty restored pre-war territorial boundaries, returned prisoners, and strengthened the United States as a nation. The greatest loss was to American Indians: without the support of their British allies, they were left vulnerable to U.S. power and expansionism.