The French Enter the Revolutionary War

The French Enter the Revolutionary War

Another country joins the war.

The French had secretly been shipping supplies to the Colonial Army. They had long been an enemy and rival of the British, so anyone fighting the British were a friend of the French.

The French had been defeated by the British in the French and Indian War in 1763, and the Revolutionary War was their perfect chance for some revenge. After the Patriots’ victory at the Battle of Saratoga, the French were ready to openly support the Patriots, believing that the Patriots could be victorious, especially with their support.

On July 4, 1776, the 13 Colonies declared they were free and independent states; the document that announced this was called the Declaration of Independence.

The French and the Patriots failed to take Newport, Rhode Island, in 1778 and Savannah, Georgia, in 1779.

The French realized that a larger force was going to be needed, so they sent a force of 6,000 soldiers that landed at Newport in 1780 after the British had left. This army was then moved to White Plains, New York, and placed under the command of George Washington. The French fleet of ships based in the Caribbean set sail for Chesapeake Bay, and the combined Patriots and French army began a march to Virginia. The French fleet defeated the British at the Battle of Chesapeake on September 5, 1781, and were joined by the French fleet from Newport. This victory meant that the British Army was blocked off from the sea, unable to receive reinforcements or escape.