French Revolutionary Wars

French RevolutionaryFrench Revolutionary troopsWar with France
With Austria and Russia out of the war, the United Kingdom found itself increasingly isolated and agreed to the Treaty of Amiens with Napoleon's government in 1802, concluding the Revolutionary Wars. However, the lingering tensions proved too difficult to contain and the Napoleonic Wars began a few years later with the formation of the Third Coalition, continuing the series of Coalition Wars. The key figure in initial foreign reaction to the revolution was Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, brother of Louis XVI's Queen Marie Antoinette.

French Directory

DirectoryDirectoirethe Directory
Tensions between the United States and France developed into the Quasi-War, an undeclared naval war. France complained the United States was ignoring the 1778 Treaty of Alliance that had brought the French into the American Revolutionary War. The United States insisted on taking a neutral stance in the war between France and Britain. After the Jay Treaty with Britain went into effect in 1795, France began to side against the United States and by 1797 had seized over 300 American merchant ships. Federalists favored Britain while Jeffersonian Republicans favored France.

Seven Years' War

French and Indian WarSeven Year WarThird Silesian or Seven Years' War
Led by George Washington, they ambushed a small French force at Jumonville Glen on 28 May 1754 killing ten, including commander Jumonville. The French retaliated by attacking Washington's army at Fort Necessity on 3 July 1754 and forced Washington to surrender. These were the first engagements of what would become the worldwide Seven Years' War. News of this arrived in Europe, where Britain and France unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a solution. The two nations eventually dispatched regular troops to North America to enforce their claims.

American Revolution

RevolutionRevolutionary WarRevolutionary
Bibliography of the American Revolutionary War. Timeline of the American Revolution. Diplomacy in the American Revolutionary War. Founding Fathers of the United States. List of plays and films about the American Revolution. Cappon, Lester J. Atlas of Early American History: The Revolutionary Era, 1760–1790 (1976). Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard A. Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (5 vol. 2006) 1000 entries by 150 experts, covering all topics. Gray, Edward G., and Jane Kamensky, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (2013) 672 pp; 33 essays by scholars. Greene, Jack P. and J. R. Pole, eds.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

LafayetteMarquis de LafayetteGeneral Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France. He followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13.

Dutch Republic

United ProvincesDutchNetherlands
Common names in Dutch for the Republic in official correspondence were: And in Latin: *Belgica Respublicae Foederatae Until the 16th century, the Low Countries – corresponding roughly to the present-day Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg – consisted of a number of duchies, counties, and prince-bishoprics, almost all of which were under the supremacy of the Holy Roman Empire, with the exception of the county of Flanders, which was under the Kingdom of France. Most of the Low Countries had come under the rule of the House of Burgundy and subsequently the House of Habsburg.

Anglo-French War (1778–1783)

Anglo-French Warwar with BritainWest Indies campaign
De Barras was ordered to take the Newport fleet to harass British shipping off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and the French army at Newport was ordered to combine with Washington's army outside New York. In orders that were deliberately not fully shared with General Washington, De Grasse was instructed to assist in North American operations after his stop at Cap-Français. The French general, the Comte de Rochambeau, was instructed to tell Washington that de Grasse might be able to assist, without making any commitment. (Washington learned from John Laurens, stationed in Paris, that de Grasse had discretion to come north.)

Louis XVI of France

Louis XVIKing Louis XVIKing
In the spring of 1776, Vergennes, the Foreign Secretary, saw an opportunity to humiliate France's long-standing enemy, Great Britain, and to recover territory lost during the Seven Years' War, by supporting the American Revolution. In the same year Louis was persuaded by Pierre Beaumarchais to send supplies, ammunition, and guns to the rebels secretly. Early in 1778 he signed a formal Treaty of Alliance, and later that year France went to war with Britain.

Siege of Yorktown

YorktownBattle of Yorktownsurrender at Yorktown
List of American Revolutionary War battles. USS Yorktown, for a list of U.S. Navy ships named after the battle. Yorktown Battlefield (National Park Service). 1931 Army War College history of the siege republished by the United States Army Center of Military History. Siege of Yorktown at Xenophon Group Military History Database. Articles of Capitulation at Yorktown. The French Army in the American Revolution at the John Carter Brown Library. Animated History of The Siege of Yorktown. The Role of the Spanish and Cubans in the Siege of Yorktown. The Yorktown Campaign (George Washington's Mount Vernon). Yorktown: Now or Never (George Washington's Mount Vernon).

First French Empire

French EmpireFranceFrench
In addition to the vassal titles, Napoleon's closest relatives were also granted the title of French Prince and formed the Imperial House of France. Met with opposition, Napoleon would not tolerate any neutral power. On 6 August 1806 the Habsburgs abdicated their title of Holy Roman Emperor in order to prevent Napoleon from becoming the next Emperor, ending a political power which had endured for over a thousand years. Prussia had been offered the territory of Hanover to stay out of the Third Coalition. With the diplomatic situation changing, Napoleon offered Great Britain the province as part of a peace proposal.

François Joseph Paul de Grasse

Comte de Grassede GrasseAdmiral de Grasse
France supplied the colonists with covert aid, but remained officially neutral until 1778. The Treaty of Alliance (1778) established the Franco-American alliance, and France entered the war on behalf of the rebels and against Great Britain. As a commander of a division, Comte de Grasse served under Louis Guillouet, comte d'Orvilliers at the First Battle of Ushant from July 23 to 27, 1778. The battle, fought off Britanny, was indecisive. In 1779, he joined the fleet of Count d'Estaing in the Caribbean as commander of a squadron; they were operating to counter the Royal Navy of Britain.

Napoleon

Napoleon BonaparteNapoleon INapoleonic
Napoleon instituted various reforms, such as higher education, a tax code, road and sewer systems, and established the Banque de France, the first central bank in French history. He negotiated the Concordat of 1801 with the Catholic Church, which sought to reconcile the mostly Catholic population to his regime. It was presented alongside the Organic Articles, which regulated public worship in France. He dissolved the Holy Roman Empire prior to German Unification later in the 19th century. The sale of the Louisiana Territory to the United States doubled the size of the United States.

United States Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceindependenceAmerican Declaration of Independence
Many leaders of the French Revolution admired the Declaration of Independence but were also interested in the new American state constitutions. The inspiration and content of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789) emerged largely from the ideals of the American Revolution. Its key drafts were prepared by Lafayette, working closely in Paris with his friend Thomas Jefferson. It also borrowed language from George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights. The declaration also influenced [[Russia in the American Revolutionary War#Russia and the Declaration of Independence|the Russian Empire]].

Kingdom of Great Britain

Great BritainBritishBritain
In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began, as the Americans trapped the British army in Boston and suppressed the Loyalists who supported the Crown. In 1776 the Americans declared the independence of the United States of America. Under the military leadership of General George Washington, and, with economic and military assistance from France, the Dutch Republic, and Spain, the United States held off successive British invasions. The Americans captured two main British armies in 1777 and 1781. After that King George III lost control of Parliament and was unable to continue the war.

Thirteen Colonies

American coloniescoloniescolonial
It raised an army to fight the British and named George Washington its commander, made treaties, declared independence, and recommended that the colonies write constitutions and become states. The Second Continental Congress assembled in May 1775 and began to coordinate armed resistance against Britain. It established a government that recruited soldiers and printed its own money. General Washington took command of the Patriot soldiers in New England and forced the British to withdraw from Boston. In 1776, the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence from Britain. With the help of France and Spain, they defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War.

George III of the United Kingdom

George IIIKing George IIIKing George
The French Revolution of 1789, in which the French monarchy had been overthrown, worried many British landowners. France declared war on Great Britain in 1793; in the war attempt, George allowed Pitt to increase taxes, raise armies, and suspend the right of habeas corpus. The First Coalition to oppose revolutionary France, which included Austria, Prussia, and Spain, broke up in 1795 when Prussia and Spain made separate peace with France. The Second Coalition, which included Austria, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in 1800. Only Great Britain was left fighting Napoleon Bonaparte, the First Consul of the French Republic.

Marie Antoinette

Marie-AntoinetteQueen Marie AntoinetteQueen Marie-Antoinette
Marie Antoinette (born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.

Battle of the Chesapeake

Chesapeakethe ChesapeakeChesapeake Bay
On the 21st of May Generals George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau, respectively the commanders of the Continental Army and the Expédition Particulière, met to discuss potential operations against the British and Loyalists. They considered either an assault or siege on the principal British base at New York City, or operations against the British forces in Virginia.

Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis

Lord CornwallisCharles CornwallisCornwallis
With the arrival of the French fleet under the Comte de Grasse and General Washington's combined French-American army, Cornwallis found himself cut off. After the Royal Navy fleet under Admiral Thomas Graves was defeated by the French at the Battle of the Chesapeake, and the French siege train arrived from Newport, Rhode Island, his position became untenable. He surrendered after about three weeks' siege to General Washington and the French commander, the Comte de Rochambeau, on 19 October 1781. Cornwallis, apparently not wanting to face Washington, claimed to be ill on the day of the surrender, and sent Brigadier General Charles O'Hara in his place to surrender his sword formally.

Louis XV of France

Louis XVKing Louis XVKing
France's mediation in the war between the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire led to the Treaty of Belgrade (September 1739), which favoured the Ottoman Empire, beneficiary of a Franco-Ottoman alliance against the Habsburgs since the early 16th century. As a result, the Ottoman Empire in 1740 renewed the French capitulations, which marked the supremacy of French trade in the Middle East. With these successes, Louis XV's prestige reached its highest point. In 1740 William I, the King of Prussia declared "Since the Treaty of Vienna France is the arbiter of Europe."

John Adams

AdamsJohnJ. Adams
During that period, an army under the comte de Rochambeau had been sent to assist Washington, but it had yet to do anything of significance and America was expecting French warships. These were needed, Adams wrote, to contain the British armies in the port cities and contend with the powerful British Navy. However, the French Navy had been sent not to the United States but to the West Indies to protect French interests there. France, Adams believed, needed to commit itself more fully to the alliance. Vergennes responded that he would deal only with Franklin, who sent a letter back to Congress critical of Adams. Adams then left France of his own accord.

Quasi-War

undeclared wara threatened war with Francewar with France
The Kingdom of France, a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War after early 1776, had loaned the U.S. large amounts of money, and in 1778 it signed a treaty of alliance against Great Britain. However, Louis XVI of France was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution, and the French monarchy was abolished. In 1794 the U.S. government reached an agreement with Great Britain in the Jay Treaty, which was ratified the following year. It resolved several points of contention between the United States and Britain that had lingered since the end of the American Revolution.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleonicwar with FranceNapoleonic War
Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, even though King George III was an elector of the Holy Roman Empire. For its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British quickly enforced a naval blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britain's Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him.

Battles of Saratoga

SaratogaBemis HeightsBattle of Saratoga
Being defeated by the British in the French and Indian War more than a decade earlier, France found an opportunity to undercut British power and ultimately of revenge by aiding the colonists throughout the Revolutionary War. Prior to the Battle of Saratoga, France didn't fully aid the colonists. However, after the Battles of Saratoga were conclusively won by the colonists, France realized that the Americans had the hope of winning the war, and began fully aiding the colonists by sending soldiers, donations, loans, military arms, and supplies.

France–United States relations

Franco-American relationsFrancethe United States and France
The alliance improved with the arrival in the United States in 1780 of the Comte de Rochambeau, who maintained a good working relationship with General Washington. French naval actions at the Battle of the Chesapeake made possible the decisive Franco–American victory at the siege of Yorktown in October 1781, effectively ending the war as far as the Americans were concerned. The French went on fighting, losing a naval battle to Britain in 1782. The Patriot reliance on Catholic France for military, financial and diplomatic aid led to a sharp drop in anti-Catholic rhetoric. Indeed, the king replaced the pope as the demon patriots had to fight against.