History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 5

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I.
FRANCE HAS URGENT NEED OF PEACE. 1780–1781.

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

THE consummation of peace between Great Britain and the United States of America was the sublime result of powers which were conspiring together for the renovation of the world. The United States were without a government, without a revenue, with only the remnants of an army which it could not recruit, nor pay, nor properly feed or clothe, and they were constant suitors to the Bourbon kings for aid. They were engaged with Great Britain in a war which, as it proceeded, had involved the interests of two absolute monarchs and the rising republic so closely that no one of them could make a good peace for itself without a general peace. Spain had calculated everything for a single campaign.* The covenanted invasion of England having failed, the querulous King Charles, after but seven months of hostilities, complained “that France had brought Spain into the war for its own interests alone,† and had caused the first mishaps” to his flag. ‡ Florida Bianca, speaking to the French ambassador, called himself a great fool for having induced his king to the declaration against England. He was ready to assent to the division of Turkey between Austria and Bussia, if

* Montmorin to Vergennes, 13 May 1780.

† Montmorin to Vergennes, 9 January 1780.

‡ Montmorin to Vergennes, 26 June 1780.

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