Rush-Bagot Treaty

The Rush-Bagot Treaty was a treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom enacted in 1817 (signed April 28-29, 1817 at Washington D.C.). The treaty provided for the demilitarization of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain, where many British naval armaments and forts still remained. The treaty laid the basis for a demilitarized boundary between the U.S. and British North America. This agreement was indicative of improving relations between the United States and Great Britain in the period following the War of 1812. It was negotiated by Acting United States Secretary of State Richard Rush and the British Minister to Washington Sir Charles Bagot. It eventually led to the Treaty of Washington of 1871, which completed disarmament. The United States and Canada agreed in 1946, through an exchange of diplomatic notes, that the stationing of naval vessels for training purposes was permissible provided each government was fully notified in advance. In 2004, the United States Coast Guard decided to arm 11 of its cutters stationed on Lake Erie and Lake Huron with M240 7.62 mm machine guns. The American decision was based on a climbing number of smuggling operations as well as the increased threat of terrorist activity after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Canadian government decided that the armament did not violate the treaty, as the guns were to be used for law enforcement rather than military activities. Canada reserved the right to arm their vessels with similar weapons. [http://www.journaltimes.com/articles/2006/03/11/local/iq_3947488.txt]

Military Installations

There are still military facilities near or next to the Great Lakes:

* Naval Station Great Lakes
* Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station
* LFCATC Meaford
* CFB Trenton
* CFB Kingston

Plaques

An Ontario Heritage Trust plaque on the North East corner of General Crerar Crescent and Valour Road, on the grounds of the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario recognizes "The Rush-Bagot Agreement." A plaque also stands at the former site of the British Legation in Washington, D.C. (Pennsylvania Avenue and 25th Street, NW) where the treaty was negotiated.

External links

* [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/diplomacy/britain/br1817m.htm Avalon Project - Text of Agreement]
* [http://www.aandc.org/research/rush-bagot_agreement.html Rush-Bagot Agreement]


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