February 6: An Ally For America

February 6: An Ally For America

Written by Matthew Mendez, Historian

February 6, 1778 CE. The Kingdom of France signs the Treaty of Alliance with the United States of America, becoming the fledgling nation’s first formal treaty. With their defeat in the Seven Years War only fifteen years prior to the colonial rebellion in New England, France saw the potential for revenge against their British nemesis, therefore resulting in French support for the American colonists. The possibility of British aggression against French soldiers in colonial America though, prompted the signing of the Treaty of Alliance. The treaty also reaffirmed French claims to former colonial provinces as well as establishing a permanent defensive alliance between the two nations. A secret clause in the treaty also allowed other European nations such as Spain and the Netherlands to join the war, with the shared basis of seeking revenge against losses afflicted by the British Empire. Ultimately, the French aid of American forces proved invaluable to the burgeoning nation albeit at the expense of their own economic stability.