I don't know if you have answered this, but...how would the American Revolution have fared had there been no French help? I mean, Cornwallis escapes Yorktown by sea without the French, and that means the war doesn't end there, but does it even get that far?
French support formed a critical component of the American Revolution. France supplied roughly 90% of the Patriot gunpowder, and their declaration of war, along with the victory at Saratoga, revitalized the American war effort. Without foreign aid, the Americans would have had difficulties with supplies, though the British only had 40,000 troops to prosecute the war with, so it wouldn’t be over right away, but it would be over once the British could reach out to American Tories and supplement their forces with a decently-supplied militia along with Native and Tory guides and spies. That would take time, though.
Now, however, France was very committed to the American Revolution as part of its wars with Great Britain. DUring that era, the guiding foreign policy of France was “do whatever you can to mess with Great Britain,” and they were smarting over the wars in 1763, so I really don’t see the American effort to France failing, especially with the lovable rapscallion Benjamin Franklin, a positive delight among the French people, leading the initiative.
France was not alone in supporting the American Revolution. Spain and Austria both supported their diplomatic ally France, though neither joined the French declaration of war at the time of France’s entry. Spain did unofficially support the war by shipping about 10-12,000 Spanish M1752 muskets and would actually enter the war in 1779 with the desire to take Gibraltar back (Austria would not join the war), though they were nervous of American expansion in regards to their lucrative colonies in the Americas. The Dutch Republic, while officially neutral, saw immense profits in selling supplies to the Americans; the British were not pleased with this development and declared war on the Dutch in 1780. The Kigndom of Mysore in South India, a key regional ally of France, declared war against the British East India Company. Sultan Mohammad III of Morocco declared that American shipping would enjoy his protection (this relationship is the oldest unbroken treaty of friendship in United States history being roughly 18 months younger than the nation itself). Russia believed it to be in their strategic interest for Great Britain and the colonies to war, their colony in Alaska was so far removed from the Thirteen Colonies that they believed it to not factor into the war.
Germans served on both sides, as King George III was the Elector of Hanover, many of them served on the side of the Loyalists, including the infamous Hessian mercenaries. Other Germans sided with the Patriots, many of whom arrived with the French army, and a few notably helped train an American officer corps using their own Prussian military traditions. Russia, Prussia, Denmark-Norway, and Sweden all joined the First League of Armed Neutrality formed by Tsarina Catherine the Great, whose goals were primarily resistance against British seizure of contraband and blockade of the entire Atlantic Coast. The alliance desired continued trade and profit from Atlantic trade, and stated that only individual ports could be blockaded, that the blockade must be temporary, and there must be an active enforcement with warships at that specific port (forcing the British to either tie up their navy or accept the League’s trade ships).
Indigenous, Aboriginal & First Nations Peoples American Revolution ~ Reasons for War
Little known fact: The peace treaty that concluded the American Revolution
(the Treaty of Paris 1783)
allowed American settlers and governments to seize lands from and ignore (refuse to honour) British treaties with the majority of existing First Nations peoples. Most importantly, by remaining silent on the issue of First Nations lands, the 1783 peace treaty had the effect of rescinding the 1763 Royal Proclamation that prevented the colonization of a significant amount of what is now American territory (the Proclamation continued to apply in Canada). As can be imagined, this was very popular with American colonists, and fear of this eventuality is part of why so many First Nations bands chose to support the British during the revolutionary war.
Historians have placed the blame for ignoring First Nations’ rights in the 1783 peace treaty on both American and British negotiators, noting that while the Americans were opportunistic in this respect, the British must take some blame for not trying to protect at least the First Nations who had fought for them and with whom they had treaties. It is difficult to say whether such protections would have been agreed to or honoured in any event, given subsequent dealings between aboriginal peoples and the newly-independent American government.
In contrast, while Canada took almost two centuries longer to become a separate nation from Great Britain (in 1867), independence was achieved entirely by way of diplomatic negotiation (all very Canadian, in fact). This means that Canada still recognizes First Nations treaties going back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Unfortunately, while aboriginal peoples have more rights and protections on paper than in the US, this has not prevented widespread discrimination over the course of the last two-and-a-half centuries. The best that can be said is that certain aboriginal peoples have the ability to make land claims, or to be compensated for lands wrongfully taken by the government. They also have certain hunting and fishing rights, and other rights enshrined within the Canadian Constitution; however, getting access to these rights is not a simple process. [Also, none of this begins to touch upon issues of cultural damage.]
The movement within the US to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an interesting one. Canada does not have an equivalent to Columbus Day (the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday takes place around that time). A 1996 Royal Proclamation declared June 21st to be National Aboriginal Day and Canadians (”Our Loving Subjects”)
“are hereby required to take notice and to govern themselves accordingly.”
~ Musings about US Indigenous Peoples’ Day, by impracticaldemon
Note 1: This is intended as a very brief commentary only, and cannot possibly represent the enormous complexity of these issues in both Canada and the US.
Note 2: I am not a scholar with respect to aboriginal and First Nations issues; merely, I have had reason to become familiar with the basics over the past several years.
around the commonwealth: concord was a historic town, famous along with nearby lexington as the site of several battles that lead to the american revolutionary war. in 2287 the city is nothing more than a raider stronghold
“The bayonet held especial fear for Americans as it embodied the superior martial
professionalism of the British army; American troops were much less accustomed
to bayonet fighting.”
- Holger Hoock, ‘Mangled
Bodies: Atrocity in the American Revolutionary War’ in Past and Present: A Journal of Historical Studies, Volume 230, Issue 1, eds. Alexandra
Walsham and Matthew Hilton (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 157 -
As far back as the 1960s in Britain, when anti-nuclear protesters - mainly women - set up a peace camp at Greenham Common, they turned an air force fence into a work of art with their knitting and material crafts. In fact, knitting’s association with political dissent goes back hundreds of years - to the grim days of the the French revolution. Women known as les tricoteuses (knitting women) famously sat by the guillotine in Paris during the “reign of terror” - and were later immortalised by Charles Dickens in the sinister character of Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities. They would watch the executions calmly - knitting the symbolic red “liberty cap” between deaths, according to some stories. Those bonnets rouges are a symbol still worn by the figure of Marianne, the embodiment of France. The United States adopted that patriotic-yet-productive spirit during its own revolution, when women knitted clothing for soldiers during the war of independence - a wartime tradition that continued into the twentieth century.
“Pussyhat’ knitters join long tradition of crafty activism’, BBC
Attentional all Hamilton fans and new people in the history fandom (If you can call it a fandom tbh that kinda weirds me out) ! I have some recommendations for you to check out this Independence Day!!
Want to know where Lin go the line “Sit down John, you fat motherf*&%$!” well look no further!
This is THE movie for you all to watch. Seriously it’s amazing. If you like Hamilton then PLEASE watch this. It’s a musical. It’s about the founding fathers. It’s about the writing of the declaration (and John Adams fighting literally everyone). Jefferson is gorgeous. Franklin’s a little shit. Adams is the smol one fighting everyone. It’s perfect. I mean look at this:
Look its a fun adventure about a girl growing up in Williamsburg during the American Revolution. It’s a fantastic movie and covers a lot of issues during the day. Just watch it and trust me. Yes that is Shailene Woodley.
This one is on the History Channel but I really love it, it’s amazing. Its a multi piece documentary on the American Revolution and it’s my favorite.
The American Revolutionary War is seen through the eyes of an American teenaged lad, a young English lady, and a French boy, all 3 of whom work as reporters for Benjamin Franklin. Its fun and educational!
TURN Washington Spies:
Not the most accurate but its very exciting and is about spies.