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Article II set the US-Canadian boundary along "a line drawn from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods, [due south, then] along the 49th parallel of north latitude..." to the "Stony Mountains" (now known as the Rocky Mountains). This settled a boundary dispute caused by ignorance of actual geography in the boundary agreed to in the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the American Revolutionary War. That earlier treaty had placed the boundary between the United States and British possessions to the north, along a line going westward from the Lake of the Woods to the Mississippi River. The parties failed to realize that the river did not extend that far north, so such a line would never meet the river. The new treaty also created the anomalous Northwest Angle, the small section of the present state of Minnesota that is the only part of the United States outside of Alaska north of the 49th parallel.
That's not quite right; the "line" westward was the divide between the Hudson Bay and Mississippi drainage; such that British-related (largely French Canadian/Metis) settlement and economic activity in the Red River Valley was already underway, as the HBC had its charter of "lands draining into Hudson Bay". The Missouri drainage runs north of the 49th Parallel in the Palliser Triangle/Cypress Hills area of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, roughly coinciding with the 49th Parallel at the Rockies although there are several streams in that area which flow northwards from just south of the 49th Parallel (a particular ridge in Glacier Park has a three-drainage mountain - for the Columbia, Saskatchewan and Missouri off respective flanks of the peak(s). Anyway, the trade-off between Lousiana Purchase north of the 49th and Rupert's Land (HBC) south of it worked out slightly in the US' favour in terms of area, although there's no comparison between the agricultural riches and abundant (too abundant at times...) water of the upper Red River vs the arid grass and near-cactus of the Palliser Triangle. As for the Northwest Angle, I'm pretty sure that's not in the treaty per se, but a surveyor's mistake that was only corrected after the line had been surveyed so many miles westward; the language of the treaty, as with the Alaska and Oregon boundary treaties, is "the line as surveyed" not the actual parallel, so once the legal survey had taken place along the wrong line, the US surveyors argued against a re-survey since the mistaken line was still binding. Taht's what I was taught anyway, although I haven't read any formal studies of that boundary and don't know it as well as the various BC boundary histories. The same legalese applies in those other treaties, which is why the variance between the surveyed boundary and the actual parallel through the Lower Mainland-Whatcom County and variously eastwards will never be corrected; the boundary isn't the parallel; it's the line surveyed using the parallel as a guide; similarly the Alaska boundary is fixed, which is why the mouth of the Stikine River, long since silted in over the century a few miles further downstream westward, is now in the United States instead of at the border.
Anyway, the Article II bit has to be rewritten but I'm obviously prolix and will have to find backups/cites for the Northwest Angle thing, although for sure the Treaty of Paris/Lousiana Purchase boundary was the height of land between the watersheds; necessarily so because of HBC title north of it, which the French had recognized and so the US was diplomatically bound to (as if that ever stopped them ;-) ). One last thought - that last sentence needs reworking because as explained teh boundary isn't QUITE the 49th Parallel; off by tens or hundreds of thousands of hectares of area if the border variance is totalled up, in fact.Skookum1 05:41, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
Issue with parag on consequences in Oregon Country/Columbia District
Despite the relatively friendly nature of the agreement, it nevertheless resulted in a fierce struggle for control of the Oregon Country in the following two decades. The British-owned Hudson's Bay Company, having previously established a trading network centered on Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, undertook a harsh campaign to restrict encroachment by U.S. traders and (later) immigrants to the area. By the 1830s, with immigration pressure in the U.S. mounting, the company undertook a deliberate policy to exterminate all fur-bearing animals from the Oregon Country, in order to both maximize its remaining profit and to delay the arrival of U.S. mountain men and settlers. The policy of discouraging settlement was undercut to some degree by the actions of John McLoughlin, Chief Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver, who regularly provided relief and welcome to U.S. immigrants who had arrived at the post over the Oregon Trail.
One change noted here to put on the article:
The British-owned Hudson's Bay Company, having previously established a trading network centered on Fort Vancouver on the lower Columbia River, with other forts in what is now eastern Washington and Idaho as well as on the Oregon Coast and in Puget Sound, undertook a harsh campaign to restrict encroachment by U.S. fur traders to the area.
Immigrants were not restricted, nor did HBC interfere with incoming US migrants, as noted re McLoughlin later in the paragraph; the HBC's policy of containment of US commercial activity, i.e. fur trapping, was about all there was to this "harsh campaign"; it was harsh environmentally, but in no way was it a "harsh campaign" of the kind exacted by the US on native peoples or others in their new/claimed territories. More changes later.Skookum1 21:47, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I think I understand that "The treaty marked the last permanent major territorial loss of Continental United States" is supposed to mean "absolutely any territory that was U.S. becoming non-U.S." but, as the next two sentences indicate, it seems peculiar to describe the U.K. ceding more territory to the U.S. than the U.S. ceded to the U.K. a "loss". Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "While U.S. territory grew as a result of this treaty, it marked the last time a major portion of what had been U.S. territory was permanently ceded" (only more concisely). ;) Incidentally, shouldn't "last" be replaced with "only"? I may be forgetting something, but I can't think of another significant permanent territorial "loss". -184.108.40.206 (talk) 21:31, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Main Page for October 20 2011 states that the "Treaty of 1818 . . . settled the Canada – United States border on the 49th parallel for most of its length"? That claim is clearly incorrect. Canada – United States border gives totals for each state and province; the border east of Lake of the Woods (which border section is south of the 49th parallel) is longer than that west of it on the 49th parallel, and is longer still than that portion of the latter settled by this treaty, which was only to the Rocky Mountains. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 22:18, 20 October 2011 (UTC)