What is an Alliance?• France and Great Britain were allies during WWI and WWII• Allies in NATO during ColdWar• Do you think France allied with America or Great Britain? Why?
International War– From 1776, France had been informally involved in the American Revolutionary War; supplying the Americans with supplies, guns, and ammunition • Thomas Jefferson encouraged this alliance • France wanted to use this opportunity to contest British power, but wanted to avoid an all out war with Great Britain • French guns and ammunition were crucial during the Battle of Saratoga
Official Alliance– After learning of the American victory at Saratoga, France signed the Treaty of Alliance with the United States on February 6, 1778, formalizing the Franco-American alliance negotiated by Benjamin Franklin.– Treaty of Alliance required that neither France nor the United States agree to a separate peace with Great Britain, and that American independence be a condition of any future peace agreement.
Alliance with Spain– Spain was also providing aid to the Americans as a way to hurt Great Britain following the Seven Year’s War– In 1776 the Count of Aranda met in representation of Spain with the first U.S. Commission composed by Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lee • The Americans hoped Spain could help end the British naval blockade around the colonies • Spain still did not declare an open alliance
Alliance with Spain– Spain finally entered officially the war in June 1779 • The Treaty of Aranjuez was signed on April 12, 1779 between France and Spain. • France agreed to aid in the capture of Gibraltar, the Floridas, and the island of Minorca. • In return, the Spanish agreed to join in France’s war against Great Britain. Based on the terms of the treaty, Spain joined the American War of Independence against Britain
Dutch Alliance• The Dutch Republic, which was formally brought into the war at the end of 1780
Treaty of Alliance• Read• What did it say? How is it different from the Treaty of Aranjuez?
BIG QUESTION– Why did France ally with the colonists?– Why did Spain help them as well?
France– French supported the Americans not only to get back at the British, but because the American Revolution was the embodiment of the Enlightenment– King Louis was wary of supporting people who were rebelling against their monarchy– American Revolution inspired the French– Read article “French Revolution: An Overview” • Compare/contrast to American Revolution • Do you think it was a good idea for the French king to aid the Americans? • How large a role do you think the foreign aid played in the American’s victory?