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On This Day March 20, 1778 American representatives met with King Louis XVI




Oui! Oui! We can thank French King Louis XVI for his financial and military support to the American Revolution that led to its independence from the British Empire.

On December 1777, three colony representatives, Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lee sailed the month-long journey from the Americas across the Atlantic to France. On February 6th the Treaty of Alliance was signed, and a little over a month later, on March 20, 1778 the trio were formally received at the grand palace of Versailles, home of the 22-year-old King Louis and his wife Queen Marie Antoinette!

Benjamin Franklin provided booklets debuting The Great Seal of The United States, which contents included the 13 colonies constitution, founding documents and treaties to substantiate their independence. The American Revolution was in its third. year with arms and ammunition dwindling not to mention soldiers, their circumstances were becoming more dire by the day. Luckily their recent victories had inspired growing support with the French King.

The young and highly motivated Louis XVI was eager to seek revenge after their loss of the Canadian colonies to the English in the 7-year-war (1756-1763). On the hush-hush and down-low King Louis XVI had previously provided unofficial support of munitions to the colonies in May 1776. He wouldn't officially and publically support the America's until he felt the odds were in his favor.

The Treaty of Alliance was good news for General George Washington! This brought serious beaucoup d'argent (BIG BUCKS)...and we're not talkin' venison (roughly 1.3 billion livres, 12,000 French soldiers, and 22,000 Naval personnel and 63 warships). This partnership propelled the colonies to win the American Revolution and the beginning formation of a brand new country.

Unfortunately the King's gracious financing to their new friends across the pond (US!) left his country nearly bankrupt. This became the catalyst of the French Revolution where the king and queen both lost their heads. Making King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette the last King and Queen of France.

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