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"The French Alliance and the Winning of American" Topic


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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 1:53 p.m. PST

….Independence.

"The ink was barely dry on the Treaty of Paris in 1763 before the French foreign ministry began planning and preparing for the "next" war with Great Britain. As a nation France was determined to avenge its humiliating defeat during the Seven Years War, which had forced it to give up Canada and had upset the balance of power in Europe. As early as 1767 France began following the growing conflict between Great Britain and its North American colonies with great interest, even sending agents to America to discover how serious the colonists were in their resistance to British attempts to tax them without their consent.

In 1774 supporters of the Patriot cause approached French officials asking for assistance, but the French Foreign Minister, the Comte de Vergennes, decided it was too soon to get involved. He feared that the crisis might be resolved or that open intervention would lead to a war that France was not yet ready for, and instead he adopted a policy of "watchful waiting." In 1775, however, he did send a secret agent to Philadelphia to meet with the Continental Congress. There were two necessary conditions for France to openly help the American rebels: first they had to declare their independence, and second they had to show that they were capable of defending themselves against the British army. Until these conditions were met, Vergennes decided to officially remain neutral, but early in 1776 he began secretly sending military supplies and financial aid to the Americans…"
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