Franklin and the French

When Ben Franklin made Philadelphia great:

In 1776 Franklin was the most potent weapon the United States possessed in its struggle with the greatest power on earth. Lord Rockingham observed at the time that the British ministers would publicly play down Franklin’s mission to France, but “inwardly they will tremble at it.” The British government had good reason to tremble. Franklin was eventually able not only to bring the French monarchy into the war against Britain on behalf of the new republic of the United States but also to sustain the alliance for almost a half-dozen years. Without his presence in Paris throughout that tumultuous time, the French would never have been as supportive of the American Revolution as they were. And without that French support, the War for Independence might never have been won. (Gordon Wood, The Americanization of Ben Franklin, 171)


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