Yorktown was the last major battle of the war. It was a decisive victory that demonstrated conclusively that the British would not be able to reclaim the thirteen colonies. The British government recognized the significance of the loss of Cornwallis's army. British military operations on the North American mainland from this point on were strictly defensive in nature. The warring governments devoted 1782 to the diplomacy of peacemaking. The United States succeeded in securing a highly advantageous peace. American independence was internationally recognized in 1783.