The Franco-American Alliance

Today In History, February 6th

The Franco-American Alliance

Aidan Pollock, Contributor

In the midst of the Revolutionary War, February 6th, 1778, Representatives from the United States, such as Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, and France signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce recognized the United States as an independent nation and encouraged trade between France and the United States. The Treaty of Alliance provided for a military alliance against Great Britain and guaranteed that France would not be allowed to leave the Revolutionary war until the United States received independence. It also said that France would be given the land west of the Appalachian and east of the Mississippi River.

Although, it only officially came into play in May of 1778 when the Continental Congress ratified them. One month later, the war between Britain and France formally began when a British squadron fired on two French ships. During the American Revolution, French naval fleets proved critical in the defeat of the British, which culminated in the Battle of Yorktown in October 1781.

Altogether, these treaties were critical to the success of the Revolutionary War, and the United States owed its independence to France when it came time for the US to assist Revolutionary French during the French revolution, it was decided that America would not interfere in European affairs as long as Europeans didn’t interfere in American Affairs.