The Franco-American Alliance 1778

22 Apr, 2021 900 History

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the treaties France entered into with the United States of America in 1778, to give open support to the USA in its revolutionary war against Britain and to promote French trade across the Atlantic. This alliance had profound consequences for all three. The French navy, in particular, played a decisive role in the Americans’ victory in their revolution, but the great cost of supporting this overseas war 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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  • Frank Cogliano 5 episodes
    Professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh
  • Kathleen Burk 11 episodes
    Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary History at University College London
  • Michael Rapport 2 episodes
    Reader in Modern European History at the University of Glasgow

Reading list

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    Carol Berkin (Basic Books, 2017) Google Books →
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    Kathleen Burk (Abacus, 2009) Google Books →
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    Francis D. Cogliano (Routledge, 2009) Google Books →
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    Stephen Conway (Edward Arnold, 1995) Google Books →
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    George C. Daughan (Basic Books, 2008) Google Books →
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    Jonathan R. Dull (Yale University Press, 1985) Google Books →
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    William Hague (HarperCollins, 2004) Google Books →
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    Orville T. Murphy (State University of New York Press, 1983) Google Books →
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    Joel Richard Paul (Penguin, 2010) Google Books →
  • Rebel Cities: Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution
    Mike Rapport (Little, Brown, 2017) Google Books →
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    Stacy Schiff (Henry Holt, 2006) Google Books →
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    Walter Stahr (Diversion Books, 2017) Google Books →
  • Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815
    Gordon S. Wood (Oxford University Press, 2009) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1778, France entered into an alliance with the United States of America, who revolted against Britain two years earlier, with profound consequences for all three.