Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What if the French had stayed out of the American War of Independence?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What if the French had stayed out of the American War of Independence?

    If the French had stayed out of the American War of Independence, what would have happened to the American Revolution, and where would America be now?

    From the perspective of the American Revolution, the high point of French support is the landing of five battalions of French infantry and artillery in Rhode Island in 1780. In 1781, these French troops under the command of Count Rochambeau marched south to Virginia where they joined Continental forces under Washington and Lafayette. Cornwallis, encamped on the Yorktown peninsula, hoped to be rescued by the British navy. A French fleet under the command of Admiral DeGrasse intercepted and, after a fierce battle lasting several days, defeated the British fleet and forced it to withdraw. This left the French navy to land heavy siege cannon and other supplies and trapped Cornwallis on the Yorktown peninsula.

    At that point, the defeat of Cornwallis was essentially a matter of time. On September 14, 1781, the French and Continental armies completed their 700 mile march and soon thereafter laid siege to the British positions. After a number of weeks and several brief but intense engagements, Cornwallis, besieged on the peninsula by the large and well-equipped French-American army, and stricken by dysentery, determined to surrender his army. On October 19, 1781, the British forces marched out between the silent ranks of the Americans and French, arrayed in parallel lines a mile long, and cast down their arms.
    Extracts from: http://people.csail.mit.edu/sfelshin...ge/frhist.html

    Philip
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

  • #2
    Well, I'm at work so I'll have to make this quick....

    In short, the AWI would have failed. Most people do not realize it but the fact is France had been secretly supporting the AWI behind the scenes. Most point to the Battle of Saratoga as the hinge point which brought the French on board, when in fact France had already been supplying arms, materiel, powders, and most importantly, money, all of which helped make a victory at Saratoga possible. Saratoga wasn't important only in getting France to publicly declare support for the Revolutionists, but also in keeping the continental army together. We have to remember, that apart from other minor episodes, the Continental Army wasn't doing to well, especially in terms of morale. Had Saratoga been lost, I think most of the men would have lost a great deal of faith in Washington and his generals. It also wasn't until after the Saratoga victory that we saw a lot of the larger communities develope more pro-independence streaks whereas before they had been either undecided, or pro-Tory.

    Without France, the revolt would have sputtered out eventually, and the region left a colony or more likely a commonwealth. Maybe something like Canada South, with a Union Jack somewhere in the upper left corner of the flag. Coins and bills would have the image of the queen.
    You'll live, only the best get killed.

    -General Charles de Gaulle

    Comment


    • #3
      The dominion of Canada goes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
      Texas is an independent country.
      California and the west coast still belong to Mexico.
      The southern slave owning sections would still do another revolt when the British outlaws slavery.
      Britain loses interest in India, which the French eventually colonized in 60 years.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think there would have been simmering anti-British feeling, or rather anti-Parliament sentiment. The colonists needed an external security threat (Indians, French, little green men) to be happy to continue paying the taxes needed to pay for the army that kept them safe.

        But because France doesn't bankrupt itself supporting the rebels, there is no French revolution, and the Ancien Regime blunders on for several more decades. No Napoleonic wars. No calls of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".

        This really does have some serious knock-on effects.

        Comment


        • #5
          The French problems went far beyond cash expended on fighting the Brits in the 1780s. Their revolution would have gone a different direction without the North American example.

          In North America disgruntled rebels of the lower classes would have continued pressing westwards creating all sorts of trouble while the loyalists would have settled back comfortablly in the established colonies.

          Just as important as the course of events in France would be the eventual problems of Spanish colonial rule in South & Central America. Would revolution have broken out there with no sucessfull North American example?

          Comment


          • #6
            The most likely outcome is that the revolution drags on at some low intensity. The British are unable to win mainly because the crown can neither afford the troops necessary nor make the long term committment required.
            The biggest problem with an ongoing resistance movement in the American colonies is that sooner or later Britain will be once again at war with her European neighbors. America becomes simply another theater to defend and if the colonists are already somewhat predisposed to revolt and throw in with the Crown's enemies they likely will; particularly if they think they can gain the independence they seek.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              The most likely outcome is that the revolution drags on at some low intensity. The British are unable to win mainly because the crown can neither afford the troops necessary nor make the long term committment required.
              The biggest problem with an ongoing resistance movement in the American colonies is that sooner or later Britain will be once again at war with her European neighbors. America becomes simply another theater to defend and if the colonists are already somewhat predisposed to revolt and throw in with the Crown's enemies they likely will; particularly if they think they can gain the independence they seek.
              I agree. The distance involved would make putting down trouble spots difficult and the British forces would not be enough to police every colony/state at the same time. I see where it would turn into an insurgent action and eventually the British would be forced to deal with it in a major way or cut it's losses. The feelings of the rebels were not going to go away - they would only continue to grow stronger and eventually lead to revolt.
              "War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
              -- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864

              Comment


              • #8
                If Independance is not achieved as per OTL little like the strong but flexible Republic & the Constitution would exist. The Crown & Tory supporters would establish loyal areas, & rebellious breakaway states in the interior would continue on. Their forms of governemnt would be subject to all sorts of variables and probablly reflect the sad violence of the ongoing struggle to keep clear of the Crown.

                Without a large single nation open to European immigration Europes surplus population will be pressing against other shores, or remain at home burning the aristocracys mansions and expropriating their lands rather that burning the homes of the aboriginies of North America and expropriating their lands,

                Comment


                • #9
                  If the AWOI does fail as is quite likely sans le Francais (and the Spanish and the Dutch)then it doesnt have to be as treachorous as some might imagine. It is not understood by many in America that many in Britain thought what the British government was doing was nothing short of a disgrace. What the colonists were asking for wasn't unreasonable (nor in some respects was what London was saying in terms of a need for finance) and Lord North handled it very badly. The Earl of Coke for example who resided in Norfolk in the East of England hung a portrait of George Washington in his home and refused to speak of or toast the King. It could've got him in serious sticky but he wasnt alone. These were Libertarian men who understood what the colonists spoke of for they belied in Britian also and practiced it. I suspect the British government would have understood the need for compromise throught the practicality of the situation and opinion of influential men at home. I dont necesarily see the need for more conflict over slavery. It was handled elsewhere in the Empire and they were very powerful men. They were compensated. I dont see why thiswouldnt be done in the American colonies also. No it doesnt have to be so dire as is suggested. He neednt have been at the time either. One of themost unecesasry and sad civil wars I know of the AWOI. Pity Walpole wasnt around anymore. He'd have sorted it.
                  Last edited by copenhagen; 15 Sep 10, 08:24.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Franklin was sure that the great population of the American colonies, and potential wealth would in time win American Independence. Without the French and the Spanish, and the Dutch, and everyone else mad at GB...the AWI would have taken longer and the USA may have been in a different form. But what would have been the change in the French Revolution?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LtCol View Post
                      Franklin was sure that the great population of the American colonies, and potential wealth would in time win American Independence. Without the French and the Spanish, and the Dutch, and everyone else mad at GB...the AWI would have taken longer and the USA may have been in a different form. But what would have been the change in the French Revolution?
                      Lafayette might not have had the influence he did. Much of that was based on his experience in the American revolution. Would his absence, or as a minor player have affected the course of events as the king lost his power?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If America had not gained independence and affairs in Europe still happened as did historically, the Germans would have been in for some major hurting at the beginning of both world wars.
                        Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

                        Prayers.

                        BoRG

                        http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8757/snap1ws8.jpg

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PtsX_Z3CMU

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How out is "out"? With aid, we might have beaten the Brits, but if the French sat it out entirely, we'd be in the Commonwealth today and Queen E2 would be on our stamps.
                          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
                          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


                          "Never pet a burning dog."

                          RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
                          http://www.mormon.org
                          http://www.sca.org
                          http://www.scv.org/
                          http://www.scouting.org/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Salinator View Post
                            If America had not gained independence and affairs in Europe still happened as did historically, the Germans would have been in for some major hurting at the beginning of both world wars.
                            Can we all agree then that the French screwed it up for all of us then?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Eh, the Revolution would have been a lot bloodier to win, that's for sure. While I can't see the French staying out entirely, if the British didn't have to fight all of it's Continental rivals at once AND the Revolution, a hell of a lot more resources could have gone to North America. We COULD win, but it's very difficult to see how without a draining of political will in London. Most likely, I think, is a grudging belated accepting of the Olive Branch Petition.
                              How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                              275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X