The French Impact On The American Revolution — страница 2

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to fight while their English counterparts questioned what their goals were, they alone did not directly weaken English forces. It was not until February of 1778 that a direct shot was taken at English military strength in the American colonies. In order to seek revenge for the Seven Years War and to weaken England’s international position of power, France allied with the Americans in their war for independence. France’s decision to form the alliance was due in large part to the Americans’ victory at Saratoga. Despite some early problems between French and American generals, the Franco-American alliance weighed heavily on the war. Not only did it supply the rebels with a much needed confidence boost, but also it weakened England’s position in the colonies.France’s

recognition of America as a nation should not be overlooked when trying to decipher France’s impact on the war. Although this act may be viewed as a mere formality of the alliance, it allowed the colonists to believe in themselves. The conflict had reached the international theatre which gave the Americans increased motivation to prove themselves. In addition, England pushed for peace immediately following the Franco-American alliance. They offered radical concessions but refused outright independence. This show of weakness only served to buttress the already expanding colonial confidence.An increased American confidence was not all that the alliance caused though. French entry into the war caused for the possibility of hostilities between France and England in the Caribbean.

Without substantial troops, England could have lost a significant portion of it’s colonies to their rivals the French. This situation alone may have been the largest factor in the shift in power to the American colonies. George III actually pondered totally abandoning the colonies and beginning an offensive in the Caribbean and then refocusing on the colonies. Although this idea was not used, it was indicative of England’s changing priorities.This shift in priorities caused for a major restructuring of English strategy in the colonies. Five thousand troops were ordered sent to St. Lucia, the French West Indian Island. This detachment severely weakened the English General Clinton’s forces in the north. Additionally, England chose to focus its fighting on the southern

colonies of Georgia and South Carolina rather than New England so that English troops would be closer to the Caribbean should they be needed. This English emphasis on the Caribbean and the south also caused for an English withdrawal out of Philadelphia. The withdrawal showed English weakness and decreased the chances of English military success anywhere in the northern colonies. The English General Clinton became quite disillusioned with British chances of success in the colonies claiming that the detachments to the south severely weakened his army.The entry of France into the Revolutionary War significantly changed England’s military priorities. England shifted importance from ending the American rebellion to maintaining its international power over France. Although some

historians claim that the situation was such that English victory was nearly impossible, it was the French intervention that sealed England’s fate. By forcing England to shift troops to the south and the Caribbean, America was able to gain confidence and victories against a weakened English military. Although the English faced a difficult task in the colonies, success still remained possible if all of English might could have been unleashed on America. French intervention did not allow this and thus significantly aided in our independence.