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Karen Palumbo

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On This Day 3/20/1778
3/14/2011 7:53:36 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]


King Louis XVI receives United States representatives


Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee present themselves to France's King Louis XVI as official representatives of the United States. King Louis XVI was skeptical of the fledgling republic, but King Louis XVI dislike of the British eventually overcame these concerns and France officially recognized the United States in February 1778.

Some of the great ironies of the "American Revolution" lay in the relationship between the new United States and the French. In 1774, when the British Parliament decided to offer religious toleration and judicial autonomy to French-speaking Catholics in Quebec, Canada, the North American colonists expressed horror at the notion of empowered French Catholics on their borders.

In 1778 though, Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee, all proponents of democratic government, were delighted at the prospect that the French Catholic monarchy, ruling by "Devine Right", would come to their aid in a war against British Parliamentary rule.

As for the French, they had recently been dealt a humiliating defeat in the "Seven Years War" by the British and stripped them of their own North American empire but still they were loathe to declare war on Great Britain as an official American ally.

King Louis XVI permitted secret aid to the American cause beginning in May 1776. The two most powerful men at court finally decided to make their support public in 1778 for opposing reasons.

King Louis XVI who had previously refused to commit himself to a potentially losing cause, only decided to back the American Patriots when they proved themselves capable of ultimate victory with a win at the "Battle of Saratoga" in October 1777.

By contrast the French Foreign Minister, Charles Gravier comte de Vergennes had decided that the French should enter the war one month earlier, after the fall of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to British control in September 1777 frightened him into thinking that the American Patriots would give up without overt French aid.



(K) (HST)

Benjamin Franklin American Patriot
Silas Deane American Patriot
Arthur Lee American Patriot
Louis XVI King of France
Charles Gravier comte French Foreing Minister
de Vergennes


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Children of Mars by Paul Day

Nine children are left to survive on a hostile and unforgiving planet after their parents go missing during a routine mission.(Please Note: Available in pre-published form)..  
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