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France in the War of American Independence Dr. Philip P. Boucher Distinguished Professor of History, emeritus University of Alabama in Huntsville.

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Presentation on theme: "France in the War of American Independence Dr. Philip P. Boucher Distinguished Professor of History, emeritus University of Alabama in Huntsville."— Presentation transcript:

1 France in the War of American Independence Dr. Philip P. Boucher Distinguished Professor of History, emeritus University of Alabama in Huntsville

2 Introduction Why did the French monarchy give substantial aid to Americans rebelling against their legitimate King? Why did the French monarchy give substantial aid to Americans rebelling against their legitimate King? Traditional hatred of the EnglishTraditional hatred of the English Sympathy with the ideals of the rebelsSympathy with the ideals of the rebels

3 Background Brief history of French and English conflicts Brief history of French and English conflicts Hundred Years War ( )Hundred Years War ( ) Nine Years War ( ), called King Williams War in AmericaNine Years War ( ), called King Williams War in America War of the Spanish Succession ( ), called Queen Annes WarWar of the Spanish Succession ( ), called Queen Annes War War of the Austrian Succession ( ), called King Georges WarWar of the Austrian Succession ( ), called King Georges War Seven Years War ( ), called the French and Indian WarSeven Years War ( ), called the French and Indian War

4 French claimed territory in America by 1700.

5 Consequences of the Seven Years War France lost all its possessions in continental North America France lost all its possessions in continental North America Britain gained lands east of the Mississippi Britain gained lands east of the Mississippi Spain gained land west of the Mississippi Spain gained land west of the Mississippi France retained a significant presence in the Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Domingue, currently Haiti) France retained a significant presence in the Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Domingue, currently Haiti)

6 North America in 1763 after the Treaty of Paris

7 Louis XV,

8 George III

9 France contemplates revenge against the British Choiseul and rebuilding the French Navy Choiseul and rebuilding the French Navy Choiseul sends spies to North America Choiseul sends spies to North America Vergennes persuades Louis XVI to consider assistance to the Americans Vergennes persuades Louis XVI to consider assistance to the Americans The Beaumarchais affair The Beaumarchais affair

10 Statue of Beaumarchais in Paris

11 The Duc de Vergennes

12 From the Declaration of Independence to Saratoga Silas Deane in the summer of 1776 Silas Deane in the summer of 1776 French volunteers stream to America French volunteers stream to America The Marquis de Lafayette The Marquis de Lafayette The disaster at Long Island The disaster at Long Island The arrival of Benjamin Franklin at the French Court The arrival of Benjamin Franklin at the French Court French public opinion supportive of the American rebellion French public opinion supportive of the American rebellion

13 Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the Revolution

14 General George Washington

15 Ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin being received at the French Court, 1777.

16 Palace of Versailles in France

17 From Saratoga to the arrival of the Comte Rochambeau Saratoga and the Franco-American Treaty of 1778 Saratoga and the Franco-American Treaty of 1778 After initial enthusiasm, a series of disappointments (dEstaings cruise and the failed siege of Charleston, 1779) After initial enthusiasm, a series of disappointments (dEstaings cruise and the failed siege of Charleston, 1779) Desperate years for George Washington and the Continental Army, Desperate years for George Washington and the Continental Army, Rochambeau to the rescue (the crucial role of Lafayette) Rochambeau to the rescue (the crucial role of Lafayette) The poor judgment of the British Generals, especially Sir Henry Clinton The poor judgment of the British Generals, especially Sir Henry Clinton

18 Louis XVI and his Ministers plan the war campaign.

19 Comte dEstaing

20 Comte de Rochambeau

21 Comte de Lauzuns soldiers in costume.

22 The Miracle at Yorktown Louis XVI and Vergennes desperate gamble Louis XVI and Vergennes desperate gamble The Comte de Grasse dispatched to America The Comte de Grasse dispatched to America De Grasse, Washington, and Rochambeau conceive a plan De Grasse, Washington, and Rochambeau conceive a plan Spanish support of de Grasses fleet Spanish support of de Grasses fleet General Cornwallis obliges the allies General Cornwallis obliges the allies The siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis The siege of Yorktown and the surrender of Cornwallis

23 Comte de Grasse

24 Admiral Barras

25 Washington, Rochambeau and Lafayette at Yorktown.

26 Thank you General Cornwallis!

27 Surrender at Yorktown, 1781

28 Treaty of Paris, 1783 British pride rescued at the Battle of the Saints British pride rescued at the Battle of the Saints The triumphal procession of the French Army on their way back to France The triumphal procession of the French Army on their way back to France Negotiations, Negotiations, Chief provisions of the Treaty of Paris Chief provisions of the Treaty of Paris

29 The World Turned Upside Down Treaty of Paris, 1783


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