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12.16.20 | Rush-Bagot Agreement (1817)

Although the agreements did not fully resolve border disputes and trade agreements, the Rush Bagot Agreement and the 1818 Agreement marked an important turning point in Anglo-American and American-Canadian relations. A plaque from the Ontario Heritage Trust in Kingston, in Ontario, recognizes the Rush Bagot Agreement (44-13`48`N 76-27`59`W / 44.229894 N 76.466292 N 76.466292-W / 44.29894; -76.4662922). A commemorative plaque is also located on the former site of the British envoy in Washington, D.C., D.C. (38-54`13.N 77-3`8.4`W / 38.903806 N 77.05233-W / 38.903806; -77.052333), where the agreement was negotiated. A monument is also located on the site of the Old Fort Niagara (43-15`N 79-03`49`W / 43.263347 N 79.063719 W / 43.263347; -79.063719), reliefs of Rush and Bagot, as well as the words of the treaty. [10] It was perhaps inevitable that an agreement, whose technical provisions were exceeded more than half a century ago, was subject from time to time to the technical offences that could be committed by both parties, and in such cases there is a clear record. However, we believe that it can be said successfully that, without a certain degree of tolerance, the agreement, in its original form, would hardly have survived to this day. But it is equally important that, even if both governments were forced to depart from strict compliance with their conditions, they feared that the spirit underlying them would be preserved. The rush bagot pact was an agreement between the United States and Great Britain to eliminate their fleets from the Great Lakes, with the exception of small patrol vessels.

The 1818 convention established the border between the territory of Missouri in the United States and British North America (later Canada) at the forty-ninth parallel. Both agreements reflected the easing of diplomatic tensions that led to the War of 1812 and marked the beginning of Anglo-American cooperation. Although the treaty was a challenge during the First World War, its conditions were not changed. Similar problems arose before the Second World War, but Foreign Minister Cordell Hull wanted to maintain the agreement because of its historical importance. In 1939 and 1940, Canada and the United States agreed to interpret the treaty so that weapons would be installed in the Great Lakes, but would not be passable until the ships had left the lakes. In 1942, the United States, which had gone to war and allied with Canada, successfully proposed to install and test weapons in the lakes until the end of the war.