Date of Award

Spring 1971

Document Type




First Advisor

Joseph Ward

Second Advisor

Thomas Clinch

Third Advisor

Rev. William Greytak


The French Alliance with the United States during the Revolutionary War grew out of numerous political forces operating upon the international scene. French struggle with England for domination of the North American continent can be traced back to the late seventeenth century with the initiation of four major conflicts (taking place partially in Europe, partially in America) and which continued down to the year 1763. The last of these conflicts, the Seven Years’ War, resulted in France losing her major possessions in North America, notably Canada, to Great Britain and giving Louisiana to her ally, Spain. These were long and costly struggles, with commercial domination and leadership in international affairs at stake. It is the central thesis of this paper, that the American Revolution constituted a continuation of this struggle between France and Britain for international domination.