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PinkMonkey Study Guide - American History

3. 6 War and Peace

During the war with Britain, America found an ally in France. Right from 1775, France had been supplying arms and loans to the Continental Congress.

In 1778, a formal alliance was signed between the two countries. Most of the battles were fought in the south. The defeat of British troops in York town (1781) led to the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. This was the last important battle during the war. This war with the British Empire - lasted for eight years. The result was the birth of a new nation. The negotiations for peace began to be initiated by both belligerent countries. The talks dragged on for almost two years.

The American Revolution

Click here for Enlargement.
Exhibit 3.3

The Franco-American Alliance (1778) prevented the U.S. from making a separate peace. On the other hand, Louis XVI of France and his minister Vergennes (in order to get Spanish support in the war) had promised the Spanish ministry a large portion of the British territory (in America) as war booty.

Under these circumstances, Alexander Hamilton representing the new nations went ahead and opened separate negotiation with the British. Though this was in violation of the Franco-American alliance, Hamilton was aware that the French would not be able to take Army retaliatory action as France had been weakened by a long and expensive war). This diplomatic foresight on the part of Benjamin Franklin led to the breaking of the deadlock. A series of treaties were signed to end the war.

Benjamin Franklin

Exhibit 3.4

During the talks, young Benjamin Franklin secured a diplomatic victory for America. Britain and America signed a peace Treaty in 1783. Under this Treaty - the Treaty of Paris (1783), Britain recognized the independence of the colonies and promised to withdraw its troops. The new nationís boundary extended from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River. Its boundaries in the north were still unclear, since British troops still controlled forts south of the Great Lakes. The Gulf coast was ceded to Spain, though both America and Britain were given navigation rights on the River Mississippi. The Treaties also required the U.S. to compensate the loyalists who had suffered financial loss during the war. The British also closed its ports to the U.S. Inspite of these concessions, all in all the Americans benefitted due to the European rivalries and a lack of adequate enforcement clauses in the Treaties.

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Table of Contents

3.0 - Chronology of Major Events in this Period
3.1 - Causes
3.2 - The Events Leading tothe war of Independence
3.3 - The First Continental Congress
3.4 - The declaration of Independence
3.5 - The Course of the War
3.6 - War and Peace
3.7 - Articles ofConfederation
3.8 - The Formation and Ratification of the Constitution
3.9 - Points to Remember

Chapter 4


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