When Franklin came to the signing . With British warships on the prowl the voyage was dangerous, but Franklin had brought his grandsons along. There were sixty-odd American merchants established in Nantes, and when Franklin considered that all this activity was being repeated on a somewhat smaller scale in Bordeaux, Lorient, Le Havre, and Dunkirk, he felt that the Franco-American alliance was already a reality. Dubourg, said the archivist, amassed arms with the help of the brilliant new foreign minister, the Comte de Vergennes, who was determined to make the American rebellion a success; and Montaudoin shipped this contraband to America. Nothing came of these appeals, and meanwhile Franklin and Deane had been working at a highly secret project which might prove more effective in precipitating a Franco-British war. This must not happen again. Carmichael wrote a strong-action letter to William Bingham on Martinique, mincing no words as to the policy being carried out in France: I think your situation of singular consequence to bring on a war so necessary to assure our independence, and which the weak system of this court seems studiously to avoid. They found the star of them all in Dunkirk. He welcomed routine, even a pernicious routine, but any crisis produced a violent reaction. There was no good news at Passy. Athur Lee, who became Congress agent in London after Franklins departure, had been in conspiratorial relations with Beaumarchais during his visits to England. Once he was installed as sole envoy in Paris, I should have it in my power to call those to account, through whose hands I know the public money has passed, and which will either never be accounted for, or misaccounted for, by connivance between those, who are to share in the public plunder. He already knew Deane, and wished not to know Arthur Lee, but he was consumed with curiosity about Franklin. There is a distinct anomaly in the fact that even with captures from British transports Congress scraped together for Washingtons use in 1775 only about forty tons of gunpowder. At the same time he yearned to be a statesman like Franklin. It was a delusion that cost him and the country dear and brought no profit to Tom Morris. They asked that frigates be sent over by August to cruise against Englands Baltic trade and attack the British Isles. But he was quite happy to spend the year of 1777 in the humbler role of itinerant trouble shooter in the French ports. They sent eight of them to France and got back safely. 1. One of his parts was acting as confidential agent for the King, for his circumspection was as profound as Franklins. He left the rack ruined in fortune, health, and mind, and openly went over to the British. By April American privateers had taken so many British seamen prisoner that the British fleet was not half manned, and Stormont hinted to Vergennes that peace could not last much longer if France continued to arm the United States. Before they escaped they were furnished money and instructions about English allies who would get them across the Channel, and French merchants at the ports who would then take care of them. A certain Monsieur Hortalez, said the courier, was sending munitions worth 200,000 to the Cape, Martinique, and Statia, which American captains could obtain for Congress simply by saying Hortalez to the port commandant. Vergennes sent an agent, Achard de Bonvouloir, to Philadelphia to sound out Franklin about the prospects of a separation from England and a successful war. It was with the greatest difficulty, he wrote, I persuaded them to insist on the recognition of our sovereignty, and the acknowledgement of our independence. (One factor, the actual fighting on land, would make up the bulk of future histories. Meanwhile Arthur Lee and his younger brother William joined the floating malcontents who supported the flamboyant John Wilkes and helped elect him lord mayor of London late in 1774. A.) Johnson was captured and sent to the Old Mill, from which he soon escaped. Q. The Revolution precipitated a series of European wars, forcing the United States to articulate a clear policy of neutrality in order to avoid being embroiled in these European conflicts. The requested battleships were not forthcoming; it was explained that France needed every unit of her Navy for her own purposes, which of course meant her expected war with Britain. Besides, five British warships blockaded the harbor. His friend Sieur Montaudoin bought a great Dutch ship and named it, Silas Deane was invaluable. When Colonel Tucker told Franklin and Morris that there was a respectable supply of gunpowder in the royal arsenal at St. Georges which could be abstracted in a midnight raid, a bargain was struck. Almost every transaction carried out for Congress was a mixture of public and private business, an accepted practice. She was starting out as a beggar at the court of Versailles, and she would have to keep on begging until the war was over. People heavily associate the French Revolution with the American Revolution, due to the many general similarities. Vergennes promptly granted the requested interview. It made the French . It happened that Franklin and Morris were the only members of the Committee of Secret Correspondence in town when the courier arrived, and they resolved to keep the news to themselves. The Franco-American alliance was the 1778 alliance between the Kingdom of France and the United States during the American Revolutionary War.Formalized in the 1778 Treaty of Alliance, it was a military pact in which the French provided many supplies for the Americans.The Netherlands and Spain later joined as allies of France; Britain had no European allies. Free subscription>>, Please consider a donation to help us keep this American treasure alive. The copies of his early correspondence with Beaumarchais proved that he knew better. The power which first recognizes the independence of the Americans, he said, will be the one to gather all the fruits of this war.. Hortalez & Company now became what it had always pretended to bea private concernand he kept on sending supplies to the United States until after Yorktown. In the late 1780s, Jefferson witnessed first-hand the beginnings of the French Revolution and what would become the eventual overthrow of King Louis XVI and the French monarchy. Naval affairs were stagnant; the privateers attracted all the able seamen. France Allied with American Colonies. He refused, when his mission was over, to return to his once beloved Paris. Resentful over the loss of its North American empire after the French and Indian War, France welcomed the opportunity to undermine Britain's position in the New World. The Hortalez ships, scattered as they were at Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes, Le Havre, and Dunkirk, were still too conspicuous to be missed by the busy British spies. The American Revolution of 1775-1789, which concluded as the revolution in France was unfolding, was perhaps the most significant. The French Revolution was one of the most senseless . In his plain dress, still wearing his comfortable fur cap, he was the natural man Rousseau had taught the French to revere, and a symbol of Utopia. What major problem did the Continental army face in the winter of 1777? The romantic era of secret aid was finished; there would be no more subsidies and loans from Versailles, and his company was already in financial straits. The American was adulated, wined and dined. It turned out that the French warships had been sent with orders to protect not only the islands of Louis XVI, but also any American vessels in the area. The first move was to eliminate Franklin and Deane by creating a scandal in Congress about their peculation of public funds. This treaty was a promise from France to help the fight against the British. Stormont was instructed to tell Vergennes that the Rebels game was up. Conyngham hastily sailed back to his berth and unloaded the powder. When Stormont appeared at Versailles Vergennes assured him that the Reprisal and her prizes had been ordered to leave French waters within 24 hours. As for the Reprisal , anchored at Lorient, she suddenly sprang a leak, and international usage allowed a ship in distress harbor privileges until she was fit to sail. There was merely enthusiasm for the American cause, Stormont reported to Whitehall, on the part of the Wits, Philosophers and Coffee House Politicians who are all to a man warm Americans.. These were led by Libertadores - like Simn . This released a great stock of surplus arms for Hortalez to buy up cheaply. The French Revolution lasted from 1789 until 1799. 3. The Charleston move is part of a broader British strategy to hang on to the southern colonies, at least, now that the war is stalemated in Pennsylvania and New York. The misunderstanding was cleared up, but meanwhile Deane was bitter about Morris and bitter about the energies he had poured into his public life, only to be systematically destroyed by the Lees. Franklin wrote his Committee of Foreign Affairs of the prodigious success of our armed ships and privateers. London merchants had lost nearly 2,000,000 in their West Indies trade, and insurance had soared to 28 per cent, he boasted. George III was uneasy about both Americans because they gambled wildly in stocks and kept mistresses. The choice of Washington as commander in chief of the military forces of all the colonies followed immediately upon the first fighting, though it was by no means inevitable and was the product of partly artificial forces. In a word, Franklin laid the cornerstone of American foreign relations, and for a long time to come American treaties would be modeled on these first ones with France. Then, when the diplomatic pressure eased, he would stealthily release them one at a time. Congress had sent the King the Olive Branch Petition, which paralyzed war efforts for many months. The stench of treachery was in the air. He went on with suggestions for arming vessels in Martinique and manning them with French seamen, which must have amused Bingham, who was already busy at this very work. They were sure that the men who were shouldering the executive functions of a nonexistent Administration were in the wrong: Washington, Franklin, Morris, Deane, John Jay, and their hardheaded allies. It was an entirely new sort of war because the United States was a new sort of country, whose survival depended less on land fighting than on a complex of factors in which Franklin was deeply involved. Short as it was, the crossing was a godsend. The United States fought all the way through the war without a government. The celebrated dramatist Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais now cast himself in his own best role, which he played without applause. Wentworth reported to Eden that he had found Deane vain, desultory and subtle and indeed the commissioner must have had some difficulty keeping a straight face. But before this blackout settled down Congress managed to get dispatches through, which in effect begged Franklin to manage his side of the desperate crisis as he saw fit. A sensible man would have liquidated Hortalez & Company at once. Franklins most pressing assignment was to buy or borrow eight battleships from France and to urge both Bourbon powers, France and Spain, to send fleets at their own expense to act in concert with these ships. The commissioners had written privately to Robert Morris that his brother must be removed, but their letters were not received for months. Much paper would be required for their letter campaign, and a spate of words would cover their omission of proofs. Little Benny Bache would be put in school to learn French, and Temple Franklin would act as his grandfathers unpaid secretary. The result of this conflict would not only determine the fate of the thirteen North American colonies, but also alter the balance of colonial power throughout the world. Some inner mechanism in the Lee genes transmuted whatever was wrong with the Lees into something much worse that was wrong with their enemies. Part 2 focuses on the French land and naval forces that assisted the U.S. in combating the British military. Nobody could find the prizes, which had been sold. French Revolutionary wars, title given to the hostilities between France and one or more European powers between 1792 and 1799. It is also true that Franklin could have helped along such conspiratorial work without leaving a trace of his part of it. As a past master in the art of making the other man feel that he was acting solely for him, Vergennes recognized this basic technique in diplomacy. The first diplomatic exchange between the United States and a foreign power was highly personal: Franklin and Vergennes sizing each other up. A smuggling mechanism had long since been perfected, to the general salvation. In mortal terror of discovery, Bancroft was always called Edwards or some other cover name in the secret files, and even in private conferences with Wentworth and Lord Stormont. With the appointment of the mission to France the affairs of the two secret committees were theoretically unscrambled; the commissioners were to take charge of foreign relations, and young Tom Morris of commercial matters. Nearing France, Dr. Franklin changed the captains orders. No doubt the colonies hoarded local supplies for their own defense, and the merchants hoarded their stocks for higher prices. Most of them were of no earthly use to the Commander in Chief and drained an impoverished Congress of money and patience. took place in France and India. The Battle of Saratoga was an extensive and punishing conflict and a key victory for the Americans in the Revolutionary War. Franklin remembered the bitter crisis of the summer when Louis XVI had agreed to armed intervention and then had capitulated to his uncle. The French navy transported reinforcements, fought off a British fleet, and protected Washington's forces in . Vergennes may never have realized what had happened during that fateful year of 1777. France and Great Britain were cutthroat enemies. It encouraged the French to adopt the government system of popular sovereignty.