The French Impact On The American Revolution

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The French Impact On The American Revolution Essay, Research Paper French Impact on the American Revolution Jeremy Black writes in War For America that the Franco-American alliance completely altered the war for Great Britain in the American Revolution. Just as it is written in many historical accounts of the American Revolution, Black points to French intervention as a key factor in the rebels’ victory. American children are taught in grade school that with the victory at Saratoga came an alliance with France that aided substantially in the American war effort. Although this theory has been widely accepted by many historians, others may argue that American victory was inevitable and that France contributed little to the rebels’ cause. Such dissenting views are augmented

by difficulty in Franco-American cooperation between generals and the absence of any significant victory until the latter stages of the war. The French did play a significant role in the revolution though. French intervention significantly altered British strategy while giving the American colonies a renewed sense of purpose and confidence in their struggle against Britain. This paper will discuss both sides of the debate and attempt to explain how French intervention allowed the thirteen colonies to break away from England. A number of circumstances existed in the revolutionary struggle that gave the American rebels a distinct advantage over the British. These advantages lead some historians to believe that the American colonies would have successfully broken away from England

without the aid of France. During the period between 1775 and 1778, the situation in the American colonies mirrored the United States situation in Vietnam thirty years ago. In both cases, an established world power looked to take control of a developing nation that wanted its independence. For the American colonies in the eighteenth century, the objective of military victory and independence was clear. Victory for the colonists would mean that the colonists could then govern themselves. For England the objective was not as clear though. A colonial surrender could leave England with a disillusioned colony that already had a prior record of subverting English law. The element of fear also played an important role throughout the revolution. The fear of defeat was much greater for

the American rebels. If the Americans lost the war, their nation’s future would have been erased. Americans’ property was sure to be affected by the outcome of the war. On the other hand, with the exception of the Bourbons invasion in 1779, the island of England was not threatened throughout the war. Parliament and the English people prayed for victory in order to maintain the economic advantages of trade with the thirteen colonies. The Americans had a tangible sense of urgency and purpose to fight for victory while England fought essentially for the continued economic advantages of trade with America.The need for political achievement exacerbated the problem for England. Any military victory would have to be followed by a political settlement with the rebellious colonies.

Without such an agreement, the revolutionary fervor of the colonists would not have subsided easily. England needed both a military victory on foreign turf and a hard fought political agreement while the colonists had only to fight for an English withdrawal.These advantages that the American colonies enjoyed made the task of gaining independence easier. The rebels had a clear-cut objective and were fighting for their homes as well as self-government. England had the more difficult task of maintaining a dominant yet friendly relationship with the colonies. This muddy objective did not allow for widespread support at home in England and interfered with military strategy in the colonies. These advantages did not directly affect the war though. While they gave the colonists the will