The treaty of Versailles, at the end of the American War of Independence, was less disadvantageous to Britain than had seemed likely, partly because of Rodney's naval victory at the Saints in April 1782 and partly because of the failure of de Bussy's expedition to India. The independence of the thirteen American colonies had to be recognized, but that had been inevitable after the surrender at Yorktown in 1781. The Americans retained their fishing rights off Newfoundland and Congress promised ‘earnestly to recommend’ the restitution of estates to the loyalists. In the West Indies, France restored her conquests, save for Tobago, and in India Britain restored France's conquered possessions. Britain gave up Florida to Spain, retained Gibraltar, for which Spain had pressed strongly, but ceded Minorca.
Subjects: British History.