Untitled Essay, Research Paper
The journey to independence for the Americans was a long road traveled and it also was a road of luck and coincidence for the Americans and for the French. But in the end the Americans got just about everything they wanted out of the war and the French got almost everything they wanted, but for the most part they both got what they initially wanted and that was independence for the Americans and revenge for the French. At the beginning the French and the British came to the new world because of religiouspersecution after the revocation of the Edict of Nates in 1685. With both the French and British in the new world, the British was waiting for a fight to break out. In the past , the British and the French always had little fights here and there no matter where they were. Because of this fear of the French, the colonists never explored no farther than the Alleghenies because they didn’t have the protection of the British navy. When it came to the French exploration, the French explored as far as Lake Michigan. By 1750, France claimed the St. Lawrence River Valley, the Great Lakes and the entire Mississippi basin from present day Minnesota to the gulf, and from western Pennsylvania to Nebraska. Some of the reason that the French had such success at exploration is because they had good relations with the Indians and they were rarely threatened to displace the Indians from their hunting grounds to make room for settlers. As long as the French kept good relations with the Indians and kept claiming vast territories, then the British could only go as far as the Atlantic coast. But in 1763, the Treaty of Paris changed everything, the French had been defeated in all parts of the world and they gave up the land west of the Alleghenies and the Mississippi in return for the sugar island. France gave Spain the entire Louisiana territory west to the Mississippi and the town of New Orleans. France was no longer a rival to the British in North America. The French were troubled by the Treaty of Paris and thought that the lands of the west Indies were better than all of North America, so they gave it up. But they all agreed that the Treaty of Paris had to be avenged. The thought of the revenge by the French came into plat only 12 years later when the colonists revolted against Britain and coincidental the only reason the colonists got the chance to revolt to get independence is because the British pushed them out of North America. Also what help the revolt came about is the imperial policies that the British put on the colonists. The seven years’ war depleted the British treasury and they figured that the colonists could help pay for it. “Out of all the policy the British made the most aggravating was those over territories, as the Proclamation of 1763, which prohibited settlement west of the Alleghenies in order to assure peace with the Indians , the Quebec Act of 1774, which made all the area north of the Ohio River part of the province of Quebec and restored French civil there.”(France and the American War for Independence) These acts want against everything the Americans wanted to do mainly because they wanted those lands and they wanted to explore. Many Americans saw taxes as an ingratitude toward them and their rights. Over the years the colonist started to think of themselves, not as British colonists but as separate and equal interest or the North American continent. After April of 1775, things began to fall in place even the efforts from both sides of reconciliation. But the Americans knew that if they were to go against the British, which had the world biggest navy and army, then they would need some help from somebody, but who? “Of course the French , a country that just suffered a humiliating defeat by the British and a country who wants some of the European power back seems like the perfect ally fro the Americans, and so they made the French “Connection”.”(France and the American War for Independence) When Great Britain found out about this then they tried to find ways in which they good get back on good terms with the Americans. One of the ways in which they thought they could do so is by declaring war on the French, therefore they thought the Americans would come to the side of great Britain to fight an old enemy. But this was just an idea and at the time this did not come about. Under Louis XV, Chouiseul ministry shaped the ground work for the French role in the American Revolution. He figured that the next big war fought would be outside of Britain and therefore he held on to the remaining French colonies and rebuilt a French navy. Also, he realized that the colonists were being true about the revolt and this was the French’s best opportunity to get revenge. But soon after his work was all laid out then he was replaced by a man named Vergennes. Vergennes shared some of the same views and ideas that Chouiseul, but he did not believe that the Americans were going to revolt, he figured that George III and the American colonists would reconcile. “But on August 23, 1775 the British King signed a proclamation declaring the American revolt an opened and vowed Rebellion “led by Traitors”. “The die was cast”. But even at this time the French stayed out of the rebellion. Then in December of 1775, Vengennes sent men Achard de Bonvouloir to met secretly with the Continental Congress. Bonvouloir address the concern that Vengennes had, such as the Americans declaring their Independence. “So what should Vengennes do wait for the Americans to declare independence or was he to “work with the Americans even before they have taken a step.”"(France and the American War for Independence) The French decided to go ahead and help the Americans, but not without any kind of outline. Vengennes came up with the first major policy proposal on the American Revolution called “Considerations”. Under the Considerations Three objectives were set forth. ” First to convince the British that the Bourbon powers wanted peace. Second, to prepare for war,” some measures were already taken but some of the more important things had not yet been prepared until “April 22, 1776, when the King authorized further building of the navy, and the re-equipping of the army. The program for the third objective, is to sustain the Americans revolt without alarming the British, was outlined in “Reflexions” written by Vengennes’ private secretary in April 1776. Its main points are given in the following excerpts.” ” There is good reason to believe that the goal of the colonist is no longer simply the redressing of their grievances, but that they have resolved to throw off the yoke of their mother country….” ” If the colonies are left to themselves, it is probable that Great Britain will succeed in conquering and subjugating them….” ” If we accede to the desires of the colonies, supposing that the assistance we accord them will be sufficient, it appears that the following advantages must result: first, the powers of England will be diminished and ours will increase in proportions: second, her commerce will be irreparably damaged, while ours will be increased: third, it is very probable that as a result of these events we could recover a part of the possessions which the English took from us in America, such as fisheries of Newfoundland, the Gulf of St Lawrence, Isle Royale, and ect. One does not speak of Canada….” The “Reflexions” also pointed out the aid which the Americans needed and ways in which they could be provided. Things they knew the Americans had were clothes, men, and weapons. They also knew that the Americans had good leaders and that they were well disciplined and that they shared a common goal for Independence. Now the things the French thought that the Americans needed were military supplies, money, and a ready navy. As time went by the French really didn’t play an active role in the American Revolution. They played more of the man behind the scenes role of just supplying the Americans with what they needed. But in August of 1776 the French decided that it was time to take a more active role in the American Revolution. But still Vengennes had some trouble convincing the French Government an the Spanish Government that they should take a more active role in the American Revolution. Vengenes was afraid that the French was not taking advantage of a great opportunity in front of them and that they would not get another like this one. He appealed to the government that if they didn’t act at that time then the British might grant the Americans their independence so that the Americans would team up with them and fight the themselves(the French). When it came to the Spanish they agreed to keep paying in secret to help the Americans, but they did not believe it was time to recognize the Americans independence. At first the French were not going to get involved in the active part of the revolution unless the Spanish did also, but the opportunity before them was so great that the decided that they could not pass it up. So they decided to sign the treaties with the Americans even without the Spanish. The treaties signed were those of two agreements. One of them being a tr4eaty for amity and commerce and the other being a treaty of Alliance. Also along with signing these treaties the French still wanted Spain to be active in the revolution, so they ask and got a secret clause in each onr of the treaties. This clause said that Spain could join the revolution in an active way when they saw fit. So on February 6, 1778, Franklin, Deane, Lee, and Gerard signed three treaties, the first being the treaty of amity and commerce, the second being the treaty of alliance, and the third being the treaty that allowed Spain to join in when they saw fit. So now it is time for the French to get involved and for the most part that was a good advantage for the Americans. But there was some draw backs, as when ” Lieutenant General D’Estaing’s expeditionary force of 12 ships of the line and 4 frigates, carrying four thousand soldiers, arrived off the Delaware Capes on July 8, 1778.”(The France and American War for Independence) There arrival was a little late to catch Howe and his British fleet. D’Estaing went after Howe but at the New York Harbor D’Estaing fleet drew to much water and couldn’t get across the bar. Washington tried to help, but after a while D’Estaing gave up and him and Washington agreed that it would be best for D’Estaing to sail to Newport, Rhode Island, to fight three thousand troops led by General Pigot. This was suppose to be a joint operation between D’Estaing and American Generals Sullivan, Lafayette, and Greene who between them had around 10,000 troops. the fight at Newport went great , eventhough the communication between D’Estaing and Sullivan was not good at all. D’Estaing was very annoyed at Sullivan after the battle in Newport, but he agreed to stay and continue the operation. Just as D’Estaing started to get his troops off the ships Howe showed up and D’Estaing went after him, which ended up being disastrous for D’Estaing. D’Estaing and Howe fought for a while and then they were caught in the middle of the storm, which did much more damage than the fighting did. Both D’Estaing and Howe’s fleet was scattered and Howe left and just when Sullivan was ready to attack D’Estaing decided he needed to go back to Boston to get his fleet back together. With this move D’Estaing was blamed by the Americans for the failure of the expedition. His decision also caused a riot in Boston and John Hancock and Lafayette tried to control or stop the riot and succeed but not before a French Naval officer was killed. As the War went on the French and the Americans got on the same page and with a little luck the Americans won their Independence. But to make it official they had to sign treaties that satisfied all parties. But the only thing that all three of them could agree upon is that of the Americans Independence and about the expansionist ambitions of their infant country. In the Treaty between the Americans and New England, the British had a hidden agenda. They wanted to offer the Americans a treaty so good that it would cause a conflict between the Americans and the French. But this was hard to do considering what the Americans wanted, which was Canada, Florida, and Newfoundland’s fisheries, but what they wanted most of all was their independence. By Nov. 30, 1782 the Americans and the British came to an agreement without informing France. The treaty didn’t go into effect until France signed a treaty with Great Britainalso. When Vengennes found out about this he really wasn’t surprised, but he also wasn’t happy. Vengennes was disappointed on the terms the treaty was signed and that it was done behind the French’s back. Franklin let Vengennes know that the British was trying to separate themselves and the French and that they should try to prove them wrong. So France kept the terms of their first treaty and kept supporting the Americans. One way in which they kept supporting the Americans was by giving the Americans their first installment of a six million livre loan. Eventually all parties signed the Treaty of Versailles and the most important attribute rung around the world and that is the Independence of the Americans.