The Franco-American Alliance 1778

In Our Time | 22 April 2021 | 0h 50m | Listen Later | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the treaties France entered into with the United States of America in 1778, to give the USA support in its revolutionary war against Britain and promote French trade across the Atlantic. The French navy played a decisive role in the Americans’ victory, but the fell on French taxpayers, highlighting the need for reforms which in turn led to the French Revolution. Then, when France looked to its American ally for support in the new French revolutionary wars with Britain, Americans had to choose where their longer-term interests lay, and they turned back from the France that had supported them to the Britain they had just been fighting, and France and the USA fell into undeclared war at sea.

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