The War of Independence (1775 – 1782)

American Wars by Hugh Brogan (history of the U S A )

Image associéeBunker Hill (June 17th, 1775) was the first real battle of a war which was going to drag(trainer) on for six long years.
July 4th,1776 :Declaration of Independence. The text was drawn up by Jefferson, with the collaboration of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.
1777 : Lafayette sailed from France to help America. This was due partly to the diplomacy of Benjamin Franklin who had been to France to obtain support. Franklin is also famous for developing the lightning rod (paratonnerre)
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The French, looking for revenge on England, had been covertly sending munitions to the rebels almost since the rebellion started. The longer it lasted, the likelier their full-scale intervention became. Dr Franklin, the most urbane of Americans, arrived in Paris on 20 December 1776 to use his charm and scientific prestige to lure (séduire) Louis XVI and his ministers into the war.
He had a staggering (stupéfiant) personnal success. The ladies of paris were enchanted by him, the scientists wezlcomed him as a brother, he was ceremonially embraced by Voltaire at the Academie des Sciences and impressed averyone as another, nicer Rousseau because of his (somewhat studied) simplicity of manner and dress. Fur hats à la Franklin became the fashion. He was hailed as « le bon Quaker »(of course he was nothing of the kind), as a child of nature, father of his country, worthy representative of the virtuous foresters who were struggling for liberty against corrupt England. More important, he had the goodwill of Vergennes, the Foreign Minister and leader of the war-party, who encouraged the Doctor in his activities as propagandist, diplomatist and spy. Some at Versailles, notably the great Turgot, recently fallen from his post as Controller-General of the Finances, foresaw (prévoir) the danger to France, not yet recovered from the Seven Years War, of another struggle ; but Franklin worked up the general French enthusiasm for his cause, and at Court the war-party was dominant, only waiting for an excuse to fight. Such an excuse the British quickly provided.
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